Window Maker has, without doubt, one of the most flexible and customizable desktops in or out of the Linux "world." Looking at the top two or three desktop environments (Unity, KDE and Gnome, at the moment) it does seem to me, sometimes, that the ease with which Window Maker can be themed is a double-edged sword. The temptation has always been to add more 'stuff,' and even a quick look at example desktops people have posted shows.
Over the past couple of years, I've come to appreciate the value of simplicity - maybe even outright plainness - in my own desktop configurations. I find lately that even a great photo used as a background image no longer appeals to me. Maybe it's a new-found Zen sensibility, maybe it's the fact that I'm no longer as young as I used to be (who is? BTW) but when it comes to my desktop, what I really like is something that get's out of my way and let's me focus more on the work or play that I rely on my systems to facilitate.
Here, then, are a couple of themes I use currently. One has been around a long, long time (since at least 2001) and the other is something I put together using a background image I found on the internet plus one of the styles that ships with Window Maker by default.
The first theme is entitled "rust," and it is available for download at the Lonely Machines website. Here it is, installed on my elderly Dell Inspiron laptop:
I think this theme is truly a classic for a couple of reasons. First, it really is minimal - it provides a quiet setting for the applications I run to accomplish work or just relax. So it meets my aesthetic needs very well. I like the texture of the background, the subdued palette - even the selection of fonts and font colors is great from my point of view.
Second, this is a classic because it makes very creative use of the ability of Window Maker to tile images to generate a background - AND it uses a color-gradient-overlay (another Window Maker capability) to further modify the tiled images into a really attractive 'texture.' If you look into the theme's directory, you'll find a single graphic image - a 512x512 pixel JPG that is used to generate the background, the icon tiles, the window titlebars - everything! Just outstanding use of the Window Maker toolkit. A work - in my opinion - of exceptional creativity.
The second example theme I've been using lately is built around Martin Hoeller's "Grain" wallpaper. It is available for download here.
Martin Hoeller provides 7 screen resolutions of the simple-yet-attractive PNG image he created. I downloaded his archive and extracted the image that matches my laptop's screen resolution to the ~/GNUstep/Library/WindowMaker/Backgrounds/ directory. This made it available through the "Appearance -> Backgrounds" menu in Window Maker. I loaded the image as the background, then I went to the "Appearance -> Styles" menu and tried a few of the default styles available. I finally settled on the "Blue" style, which I think works well with Martin Hoeller's "Grain" wallpaper. The result is a "theme" that looks like this:
I find the plain, simple approach to desktop aesthetics suits me and makes using my systems both more pleasant and more productive. Window Maker let's you go to the other extreme, if that suits your taste and preferences - but as for me, I like plain.