Just thought I'd share this as a new thread because the thread below was too old to post a reply (from 2007)
Anyways, with reference to the above thread, I was having the same problem. It took me about half an hour to try out a few solutions that all didn't work.
Basically, I was designing a webpage in CSS and Dreamweaver's design or split view was showing a page totally stripped of all my elements (images, text, div outlines) and was only displaying the background image and color in the design pane. It was only when I clicked live view that I am able to see the layout, but I wanted to see the actual elements within the div outlines. I tried one solution where I should go to View > Style Rendering > Display Styles, but this was a different matter because it will still display all elements but with the CSS styling stripped-off.
Half an hour later I found the culprit, and I laughed my head off when I realized it. I actually placed the divs within the <head> area of my html, and it should be in the <body> area duh! It was difficult to notice because the divs were merely a couple of lines off, I unknowingly placed it before the </head> tag where it should be after <body> tag.
Anyways, hope this can somehow help those who are currently losing their hair while experiencing this same scenario haha.