1) Reading the first 100 pages of the Non-Designers Design Book (http://www.amazon.com/Non-Designers-Design-Book-Typographic-...).
2) Using CSS grid systems (e.g. Blueprint) and CSS abstractions (such as Compass) to ease the design process and minimize cross browser tomfoolery.
3) Visiting http://www.smashingmagazine.com/ and browsing lists such as "best minimal designs" and then slicing and dicing parts from my favorite pages together.
End results: www.bolivianexpress.org, www.oxbridgenotes.co.uk
Your end result might not win any awards, but hey you'll have $10,000 more in the bank.