It's Sunday and no workers in the house. I've taken advantage by doing a little cleaning. We also had a big snowstorm--heavy wet snow--and I did go out and shovel off the driveway and walks. A neighbor helped me, and thank goodness for that, as it was backbreaking.
Last night I decided to go return sample tiles to Home Depot and start rethinking. After seeing how dark the paint and walls were, I realized I needed to go lighter not darker with the backsplash. Instead of looking for fancy elegant highly-patterned tiles, I looked for very simple and neutral. Now if I were not thinking of selling the house in a few years, I might have gone for a real contrasting color, but I settled on a plain almond color ceramic tile -- as basic as they get. And then with the help of a woman who worked in the tile department, we experimented with creating some accents to dress up the plain tile. I finally settled on one that really appealed to me. I bought more sample tiles to show this possible design to my contractor. In this picture I've placed the backsplash tiles on the new floor and I've added a piece of the cabinet wood and the countertop granite to show the contrast. Add in the plain white appliances, and I think I manage to achieve the clean simple look I want. The backsplash height is 18 inches and these are 6-inch tiles, so this is a fair representation of the end look. I would choose a grout that matches exactly.