I gotta say, I really do see my room as being something of a sanctuary. I just can't be comfortable anywhere else quite like when here in my room. Here I can truly be at peace and be myself. When in here, it's like the outside world disappears.
Used to be when I worked I'd bring up photos of my room on my cellphone to give myself a tiny sense of comfort and sometimes try to pretend I was there when I got really home sick. My room before this one was what OP seems to be aiming for. I had floor to ceiling anime posters, pretty much any anime posters I could get my hands on I'd toss up proudly and same for figs even though my collection was much smaller back then. This was also around the time I went full blown hikki as well.
Guess you could say I've fallen more into that more "subdued, subtle and "mature" look" OP described with my current room. I agree that western 'otaku' rooms can be rather boring because of this. They seem to usually be very empty save for a small handful of strategically placed eastern characters, like a single touhou doll in the corner of the room and maybe a single display case with some high end figs. They come off as being very empty, cold, and soulless. Almost like those fake rooms in model homes. They feel more like something created for display in a magazine rather than something actually lived in.
I dunno but when I moved into this current room I felt like making things more clean and organized, that and I wanted to focus on just having posters of my waifu. Unfortunately there really aren't many official or high quality images of her which is why I only have a few. Not to mention all the random sized posters taped all over the walls started to feel a bit tacky to me, although in looking back the room certainly did seem more fun. Didn't help things much that things were really cramped. Like OP mentioned, I've not really had any space to expand outside of my room since my mom can't keep her hands off things I leave outside of it. This lead me to having to pack as much stuff as I could in here, and leaves me in a never ending desperate struggle to keep things organised. I've packed and hidden stuff everywhere I can and it's still a bit of a mess. My bed and the majority of my closet is just purely for storage. honestly it's actually a bit tricky just to get in here, since my arcade machine kinda blocks the doorway and you gotta step over my couch to get in.
It's funny though, when we came to check out this house before moving in, I spent hours in this room while it was empty. not just measuring everything and planing where my stuff would go but generally trying to get a feel for the room. It might not be the most fancy thing but I'm genuinely happy with my room. I spend 95% of my day in here and have spent a lot of time getting things the way I like it. It'll really suck having to leave it, and that's one of the reasons I started work on that model room, so I could take this room with me wherever it is we end up going.
p.s. Figured I'd take a pic of my room the way it is at the time of writing this without moving stuff around or anything.
Post edited on 4th Feb 2015, 11:11pm