Having participated in designing control rooms, and been dependent on the people actually doing the monitoring, it's safe to say that I know how NOT to do this.
First of all, I was hoping you're not doing a show-piece. Making a functional control room that doubles as a way to show how cool you are doesn't really mix. I've seen this done a few ways.
First, there is the adjacent room with glass windows to the control room. Highly disturbing for the people doing the monitoring. Then, the one way mirror. Even more disturbing, as you get paranoid after a while. Lastly, video surveillance. Not doing any wonders for the people working in the control room either.
Not knowing what you're monitoring, or the workload, this is usually a job that requires a lot of concentration. Ideally, there should always be more than one person there. If something bad happens (the reason why you have monitoring in the first place), you don't want people panicking. Having seen the same old alarm for the 200th time, there could be a tendency to ignore it. Being able to consult with someone at 3 AM (other than the person on-call), is important.
While it's nice to see everything in full working order, the important thing is to make people notice if there's something wrong. (Even better, early warnings before things go bad.)
You should have one large monitor showing things that have gone wrong, and it should be the focal point in the room. If at all possible, make the system give a sound signal (or make the lights and/or monitors blink) to get your attention. The surrounding monitors can show how your systems are doing. You just don't want to miss that critical error. It's bad for you, your systems and your customers.
You are going to depend on the monitoring equipment. Duplicate the systems, have all kinds of redundancy. You don't want to miss those important alarms because the monitoring system is down or unavailable. This means that you need people who can administer the system and modify it if you have equipment that is not supported by your monitoring software. These people will be vital in ensuring that all systems are monitored correctly.
Guessing that the people in the control room won't have a deep knowledge about all the systems they are monitoring, you will have a number of people on-call.
The two most annoying things for a person who is on-call are: false positives and missed positives. That's right, while you get grumpy about unnecessary wake-up calls, you get angry if there is a missed important alarm.
I have worked with systems that have a very high number of real alarms, hundreds each day. The people in the control center will get reluctant to call for the 20th time that night. They will hope that the problem goes away, or they will deliberately misjudge alarms so they don't have to disturb the people on-call. This will escalate if you have a high degree of false positives.
Finally, the last thing you will want to avoid is confusion. Keep short, up-to-date, easy to read instructions for each and every system. What is the check-list for every known system/alarm? Who do you inform? How do you inform them? How do you escalate a problem if the person on-call is not answering?
So, not going into the discussion of which kind of soda/chair/toilet paper you will need, here is my list of advice:
* Try to avoid making the control room a show-piece.
* If possible, always have more than one employee in the control room.
* Focus on catching alarms and problems.
* Make audible or strong visual alarms if possible.
* Do what you can to avoid down-time on the monitoring system.
* Have personnel that can administer and modify your monitoring system.
* Make sure that all systems are monitored, and monitored correctly.
* Find a way to avoid false positives.
* Don't ignore alarms.
* Document all procedures.