Cover the old material with new tile or glass tiles for sparkle. Sometimes adding a mantel or different mantel gives a lift. If the material is highly textured, paint may be your only option aside from removing the material and starting over.
If you want a decorative back splash which usually covers 18 inches between the counter top and upper cabinets, there are exciting choices. Weather you choose tile, granite, glass or another material, it needs to respect what is happening with other elements in your room.