The kitchen above turned a purely functional granite splashback into the focal point of the kitchen. The kitchen itself is a plain Shaker style, painted a nice Deco grey green. But the Skyscraper style stepped splashback, as well as being practical behind the hob, established a strong Deco feel to the room. While the smallish curved glass extractor isn't totally in style, it fitted with the narrower top edge of the granite. Of course we could do this splashback in natural or manmade stone colour, polished or honed. You could even contrast this granite with the worktop granite colour. The use of these pewter 'stepped' handles added to the overall Deco feel.
Stainless steel is ever popular in the kitchen for splashbacks, both for it's practicality & metallic good looks. But it doesn't have to be just a square panel behind the hob. The top 2 show stainless splashbacks with rising sun design spalashbacks either side. These could be made from Corian, glass, lacqured panels, etc. As well as adding a dramatic look to the kitchen they are equally practical. The bottom design shows a stepped stainless steel splashback to great effect.
Tiled splashbacks would definately have been the norm for Deco original kitchens. Hygenic, cheap, easy to fit, they had many advantages. Nowadays you could have a plain tile, more like originals, or ones with a pattern, to add to the overall effect. Original tiles were usually of the 'brick' or 'subway' type, ie rectangular.
The above Deco era kitchen, with glass blocks behind the worktop is absolutely stunning. As well as allowing more natural light in, especially onto the preparation worktop area, it makes the kitchen feel visually bigger. It was brave when done, & it would be brave to do it now, but could really superb. Of course, it involves some building work to install these, which can be easier done if building a new kitchen extension.