I’ve used Gmail for ages, but have historically been less than impressed with its appearance. I’m all for a simple interface, but simple and ugly don’t have to go together.
I’ve changed through their themes over time, never quite happy with the options. But more recently, I discovered that they allow “custom” themes. (Quotes around “custom” since your choices are just “Light” and “Dark” with a configurable background.)
But that turns out to work pretty well:
(I’ve heavily redacted the contents of my Inbox, just since I’d be pretty irritated if a friend of mine went blogging photos of my emails to them.)
There’s a great selection of really nice backgrounds to choose from, including the ability to use your own photos. But thus far I’ve been so happy with the options that I haven’t tried to use my own photos. You really owe it to yourself to try out.
(No word yet on whether the monkey in my background is Darwin or not.)