If you can see your way through all the mis-coded characters in this screenshot, you’ll have a pretty good image of tinyirc.
tinyirc also has a much more sparse approach, when compared to things like irssi or even rhapsody. Your user name and the target server are both added as command line parameters, although I daresay you could connect to another after tinyirc starts up.
And what you see above is about all the interface I could find. If there is a way to customize that, or add color or different readouts, I missed the memo.
That shouldn’t dissuade you from trying to build it though; I have a tendency to run things a little light, and that occasionally causes hiccups. 😉