Go with a Natural Theme, and build up on it to your taste. Watch some Amano videos on youtube to get inspired. I will still recommend you some live plants, however, you don't need complicated ones that require too much.
1) Choose a natural looking substrate. I find sand to be easier as I never have to maintain it (then again, I have a lot of plants that making it even less cleaning required). You can also go over substrates such as gravel, and I think the smaller, the better. Pick the color that is not flashy, but more natural, or black.
2) Get a few Driftwoods. You could place a few in the center to form one bigger piece, or spread out based on how you like your design
a) This is good so you can have 1 Bristenose Pleco to help a bit with the alga
b) You can tie some Java Ferns on it. This is the most easiest plant, not requiring much light, self replicating, does not get alga on it, does not requiring quality substrate, can be attached to driftwood or rocks. The more plants you have, the they will filter your aquarium.
c) Or alternatively, if you don't want plants, get some nice rocks, and choose sand substrate.
3) Pick if you want Cold Water or Tropical Fish, and which fish and temperature it should be at. Some tropical fish might get by without a heater if the room is kept at 22 - 23C, such as guppies. Remember that if you pick cold water fish, you save on electricity. I have Fantail Goldfish with White Cloud Mountain Minnows and Pepermint Cories and BN Pleco all together.
4) Make sure the fish you pick are compatible with each other. You have to ask for each variation.
5) Get either a black background, and stick it well (google / read on how), or paint it, or leave it without background, or you could go all blue too, but I find black much nicer. But don't get those ugly fake plant background.
6) Get lights. If you want to go cheap, you can get shop lights, which are 4 feet, just the right size. These are considered low light.
7) Get some easy plants based on the light you will provide. For low / medium light, Java Fern / Java Moss / and Bacopa are some of the easiest plants.
8) For the fish, don't overstock too much, especially with the low quantity of plants you will have. I would suggest getting some shrimps such Amano types, and/or Red Cherry Type if you have enough hiding spots, to help with the cleaning. If you pick Angels, make sure the other fish you pick accordingly will be compatible so they don't attack each other. Cories are very peacefull fish, so pick a type and get at least 12 of the same type preferably in there. They will also clean the extra foods that gather at the bottom of your tank. Tetras are nice and I think they school. On the other hand, I have guppies, and they are extremely friendly and some eat from my hand.
9) Overfilter if possible, and forget about those fake plants.