If you want to see what can be done with a light window manager, Debian, and a few hacks/ tweaks, I hope this provides you with a pretty good place to start.
First let me say, I like the vanilla version. Although to me (a child of the 50-60s) it looks very 70s-ish. Never trust an old guy who wants to modernize, but I have tried adding functions and eye-candy to this tiny platform. Purists will say, I broke it; oh well...
Here's what I have done:
I changed all the Wallpapers (because I like the ones I found of old Windows...btw they are all from http://Pixabay.com ). They seem to fit the look of a WM (windows manager based platform). jwm = Joe's Window Manager (gotta love the name).
Next I changed to the startup functions to:
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<StartupCommand> tint2 & plank & compton & </StartupCommand>
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sudo apt install tint2 plank synapse fonts-roboto fonts-roboto-hinted fonts-roboto-unhinted txt2tags
--- tint2 is a nice panel for tracking tasks etc.
--- plank is nice dock/ launcher (one of my favorites)
--- synapse is a semantic application launcher & more (my favorite)
--- compton is the compositor I elected to use (eye candy remember)
--- roboto fonts were installed because I use them in my conky and on te desktop/ file managers
--- txt2tags is used for a test I am running to see if I like xdgmenumaker (https://github.com/gapan/xdgmenumaker)--- Optional
Note: xdgmenumaker, after some brief use, seems a bit redundant with the standard menu function(s) basically available with antiX 19.
I left the basic antiX preloaded software in the environment. I tried using LightDM, was not happy with what it broke. I went back to using SLIM, and just changed the background image to match my Desktop images.
Because I am using SpaceFM, I use it to control the Desktop icons. I use SpaceFM and the antiX Control Center to adjust/ control wallpapers.
The system seems to idle at around 400-500M (running tint2, jwm, conky, plank-eye-candy dock) and when I add Firefox (4 active tabs) it still runs below 800M. By my standards, that's pretty good.
The Desktop and Login image files may be viewed here: