Good Questions: Kitchen Paint Colors and Backsplash?

AT, My boyfriend and I are moving into a new place in two weeks, and we've been picking out paint colors. Unfortunately, we've been stuck on what to do with the kitchen. We both love to cook and plan to spend a lot of time there, but the kitchen doesn't exactly inspire an appetite...

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...We would love any suggestions on what paint color will help the counters look less ugly, not more. The small kitchen opens into the dining room and living room, and, though you can't tell from these pictures (taken when we first toured the place), it gets quite a bit of light.

Also--more problematic--is there anything a renter can do to cover up the backsplash? In other words, something temporary and not too tacky?

Please help!

-Elise

Who has advice for Elise?

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