I'm drawn to anaglypta wallpaper -- it's an embossed paper that's thicker and sturdier than regular wallpaper, is period-appropriate, and I think might look really lovely as a backsplash. I saw a picture of it used as such in a kitchen mag, and here's another example, though much dingier in color choice than I would like. This is the kind of pattern I'm drawn to (Derby):
Although I think Maxwell might be even prettier (less squared-off):
It's paintable, so I might do it in the Benjamin Moore muted green I liked (with perhaps another shade of blue or green sponged lightly on the raised areas), with the muted blue painted cabinets below. All historic colors. Dark grey soapstone counters around the border of the room, dark grey (eventually) zinc counter on the island, fairly dark wood upper cabinets, medium wood antique floors.
Wallpaper (and probably any bits of painted walls) color, BM Waterbury Green:
Cabinets, BM Buckland Blue:
What do you think?
9:05 update -- ooh, found Apartment Therapy article on anaglypta -- pretty! Maybe I could do a combo of the blue and green, which would tie it in more tightly to the cabinets below...