We're used to seeing the standard tile or a continuation of a natural stone material climbing the walls behind a countertop, but a wooden backsplash can have great functionality, and unusual one can add an interesting design element to a modern kitchen.
Too often the backsplash is treated as a utilitarian surface that doesn't require any real innovation to execute. We're thinking of the backsplash as a wall surface like any other - an opportunity to make a statement and add beauty and character to a room. Some ideas to try include using a solid piece of wood with lots of texture, a live-edge plank that spans the length of the countertop, irregularly-sized wooden tiles in different shapes and colors, raw beadboard, or a hand painted mural on a reclaimed piece of wood.
Images: as linked above