More subtle subcategory list option?

This is an alternate way of approaching "Bump" selected topics in subcategories to display in the higher-level category?.

Basically, I find both of the “Show subcategory list above topics in this category” options to be too heavy. They are above and more prominent than topics in the higher-level category itself. I’d like a layout where the most general (and correspondingly most important) topics are in the higher-level category, with subcategories that drill down. The existing options work well for something like feature - Discourse Meta, where it’s basically the opposite — announcements are a called-out subset.

Is there a layout which puts subcategories below the “main” category posts? Or, since it’s an infinite-scroll list, maybe … in the middle? … with the most recent N posts from the main category above, then subcategories, then older topics?

Maybe if you showed a mockup of what you mean visually? That’d help.