I have been using the free version of Fences for the past 6 months or so. Fences is a desktop organizer that is as unintrusive as you can imagine. It creates "folders" on your desktop where you can put your icons in. The fences can be completely transparent or any level of transparency that you choose. You can change the color tint and saturation as well as the transparency.
Today I upgraded to version 2.0. It appears that the free public version is no longer available but I happily paid US$ 9.99 for the upgrade. Version 2.0 has some added features including desktop pages, where you can have multiple pages of fences on your desktop. I haven't explored that option yet though. Another new feature is that you can drag a folder onto the desktop and Fences creates a "folder portal" which essentially creates links to the files in the folder. This can be very cool when you have documents in folders that you access all the time.
Check it out at http://www.stardock.com/products/fences/
Stardock has several other programs for sale. One of them is Start8 (http://www.stardock.com/corporatesolutions/Start8/)which brings the start menu button back in Windows 8. Another one that looks very cool is WindowBlinds (http://www.stardock.com/corporatesolutions/WindowBlinds/) that make it possible to theme/skin the whole windows system. They also have an Active-X product called DirectSkin (http://www.stardock.com/corporatesolutions/DirectSkin/) that is a tool for developer to make it possible to completely skin and rebrand their software. It's not cheap and it is priced by deployment. The smallest option is upto 500 deployments and that costs US$5,000. Unlimited deployment costs $18,000.
Hope you enjoy fencing your desktop in and get control over it again:)