For those of you who gave me your invaluable input on the granite, I did go with the blue flower and I LOVE IT. I've had it for 1.5 weeks and can't stop loving it. So gorgeous!
So now I'm choosing a backsplash, and when it's all done I'll post bigger pics. Our kitchen is more formal with the cabinetry and counter. The floor is more rustic. We have some other rustic elements in the house like our stone fireplace, built ins and 100 year old barn door. We'd like to bring a little rustic into the kitchen, and thought we might do that with the backsplash. I still want the counters to be the star of the show. One of the things we love about the new counters is the way it lightens the kitchen so much. The old counter was dark. So we don't want to do anything that darkens the kitchen again. I like the idea of this blond brick. We are going for craftsman/French cottage, but not excessive in French cottage. Just bits here are there.
This picture is similar to what I'm going for http://pinterest.com/pin/56787645273912896/. My built in hutch and island are a similar ivory color (I thought about doing the brick backsplash in the cutout on the hutch as well).
Is the brick going to defeat the purpose of a backsplash and be impossible to clean in the event of a blender explosion (which does happen on occasion)? It will be sealed and everything, but it's still not slick like tile.
The safe choice would be the travertine that is nearly the exact same color as the wall paint, but so blah.
Is the brick a trendy choice that will date my house in 5 years? We are not chronic remodelers. We keep the trendy to items like decor that can easily be switched out. The big stuff we go classic. I suppose we don't have tons of backsplash, so replacing it wouldn't be the end of the world, but I don't want to switch it out anytime soon.
I included a picture of the brick samples I picked up and the travertine. I like that the brick has the warm cream tones and cool gray tones, just like the granite. It unifies the cools and warms in my house.