If you have your theme and wallpaper all set up and don't want your desktop cluttered with icons, try this:
Modify or create this registry key:
You can still have sidebar gadgets, or the excellent Rainmeter skins.
If everything is perfect, and you don't want anything to change, you can lockdown your desktop with:
Turn off these registry modifications by changing the value to 0.
Your desktop folder
will still behave as before, and you can add it to your taskbar, as a new toolbar for easy access.
Here's my netbook desktop (Windows 7 STARTER) with very basic mods
Mods: StarDock MyColors, RainMeter Gnometer, Wallpaper from Year of the Rabbit theme (MS)