It (the app environment) is very confusing, obtrusive and seems kind of unnecessary.
So here is what I would like to be able to do: I would like to get rid of it.
I don't mean merely disabling it or uninstalling apps.
I don't know a way to disable the Modern side of Win8 - it's kind of built into Windows.
Please elaborate on why you think it's confusing - maybe members can make it less confusing for you.
And what is obtrusive about it - do things pop up, or interfere with your other work? Members might have some suggestions that would help there as well.
Kind of unnecessary - yep not to mention that some of the Modern apps are 'duplicates' of desktop apps.
Here's what I did to Win8.1:
I always boot to desktop, not to the Start Screen
For every Desktop app that I regularly use, I uninstalled it's counterpart on the Modern side. I played with the Modern app to see what it did, if there were any advantages, but I was used to the desktop version, so after playing I uninstalled it.
Then I organized the Start Screen so that it only contained my favorite desktop apps
1) unpin from start all the apps I didn't want to see all the time
2) pin to start the apps I frequently use
Think of the Start Screen as the recent programs list or pin to start menu on the older style start menu
3) If I need a seldom used app, I open the Apps screen
Think of Apps as All programs on the older style start menu
So after configuring boot to desktop and organizing apps on the Start Screen, I have basically what I think you want without ripping apart Windows.
If you want to try it through configuration changes - let me know. If you're intent on ripping apart Windows to accomplish the same goal, I won't be able to help you with that - I wouldn't know where to begin or how the system would behave.
Another member might know.