The tabs/buttons are not accessible at design-time through the Edit UI Elements dialog. Moreover, if you set a property through this dialog or through code, the value that is set will override the values from the theme for the same property and you will have to handle events (MouseOver, MouseDown, etc.) to manually set the colors for the different states.
Could you please share with us why you are trying to avoid using themes and Visual Style Builder? In Q1 2010 we introduced the new version of the Visual Style Builder tool that made the process of creating and modifying an existing theme quite an easy task. For additional information about VSB, please refer to the following article: http://www.telerik.com/help/winforms/vsb_gettingstarted.html
I am looking forward to your response.
the Telerik team
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