If I ever start thinking "ya know, this room really needs some driftwood" it will be time to stop watching so much DIY tv.
Our living room is done in a suede effect brown/red/taupey kind of color with black trim, dark burgundy and cherry wood furniture with most of the accent colors coming from the huge gold leaf and kanji painting on the back wall and the jade inlay in the backs of the dragon chairs.
Asian, modern, dark, interesting, simple...
We just aren't sage green and pumpkin gingham kinda people.
It helps too that we've got an established household. We have pots and pans, we have towels and sheets and dishes, but they're all sort of random. So now instead of asking for essentials we can ask for neat/unique/or just nice to have sets and "complete" things.
Like... I don't give a damn about washcloths... I don't use them. However, fuck it... they'd be nice to have around.