Mate, first tables <tr.> are getting old now but are still widely used. Believe me I am a expert on HTML.
Might I recommend you try going to a web based web design school. And most of them are free, just Google it. I don't use them so yeah....
As for helping you with designing, look for fresh inspiration by thinking about what people HAVE NOT done already, that's how I go about designing my websites, and I have a few good CSS ideas too.
But this is the one thing I can't help you with if you ever need help with HTML, PM me.