I think that piece of wood looks great. One thing that may help make it look better is offsetting it to the side instead of right in the middle. If you keep the focus off of the middle, it will make it more interesting to look at. If you want to know more creating a good looking aquascape, read up on composing photographs. The same basic rules apply, which is mainly what's known as the rule of thirds.
Right now, you're in the same boat I was about two months ago. The best thing I've done is to just read, read, read. Then, figure out what changes you need to make to get your plants to grow well. After that you can start expanding/changing your plant list and/or equipment.
Good luck and keep us updated.