This design is entirely possible. It is not too different from the default theme in terms of layout. You will need to reference magento design tutorials (there are many available if you search on Google) but here are some basic pointers.
1. Start with the default/blank theme. Copy the blank folder and rename it as your new theme. You will have to do this in both the design and skin folder structures.
2. You are using a 2 column right layout, so you will need to edit catalog.xml and change any references to 2columns-left.phtml to 2columns-right.phtml (and do this in any other relevant layout XML files for other pages you want a 2 column right layout).
3. The site background can be done purely with CSS. Stick the image in your themes skin images folder and reference it in the CSS file.
4. You will probably need to edit app/design/frontend/default/yourtheme/template/catalog/product/list.phtml and catalog/category/view.phtml to get what you are looking for.
Everything else, I just suggest go for it and when you hit a hurdle come back to the forums, do a quick search, or post a question. Hope that helps.
I have had a look at the directories etc and I copied the Blank folder and renamed it ... I am a little lost now! which file should I change! I need to display a category list in the right column rather than on the top..... I think once I have made some changes and seen the effect things will jump in to place in my mind (I hope!)
Also where do I find the tags to call up on the pages? I would like to display the products as a grid as default when entering in to the category..... although I am probably running ahead of myself.... Start at the top and work down! so in the header I would like the logo to the right and shopping cart detailsto the left and possibly under those a menu to the Home, Whats New, Specials, Create an account & Contact form