usually, Gimp loads Big icons. And big, colored icons are distracting, i agree with you.
Because i use a custom dark theme, i can tell you by experience that this doesn't apply for LITTLE colored icons.
Also my workspace is arranged to stay focused:
main window, toolbox palette (slim, single column), Docks.
Whether Photoshop does the same or not is simply irrelevant :)
agree. wasnt meant personal.