So once upon a time a designer called Ellen Gormley created a pattern she called Sunny Spread.
Which has clever use of front post stitch to create wheels/stars/suns/those cool round centres. There are many examples which have been made - check out this page on Ravelry.
One of the most interesting is a cushion made with a cream background and a single ball of Moda Vera Bouvardia (long run variegated yarn from Spotlight). It really showcases the pattern.
Equally, you could use up scraps for the circles. I do have a preference for the circle contrasting with the surrounding square (and I seem to have a thing for circles in squares at present...) as I think that showcases the pattern. Don't know if I could cope with making an entire blanket in one colour only... but if I did, I'd go with a light colour like the original, to ensure that the pattern could be seen.
Here's the Red Heart yarn company page with the pdf of the pattern:
And the direct pattern link:
(The Coats & Clark UK links which should have led to a UK terminology version don't seem to be working any more, so the US version is all I have been able to find).