The Best Designer Choices for Quartz Countertops

If you are considering quartz countertops, I’ve got the answers for making the best choice for your kitchen or bathroom.

best designer options for quartz countertops

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Last week, I attended a fun “Red Carpet” event hosted by Cambria and Smokey Mountain Tops here in Nashville.

red carpet event cambria


The event took place in the fabulous Sinema restaurant, which opened just last year in a historic Melrose movie theatre just a few minutes outside of downtown.

Sinema restaurant Nashville


I had heard about how good the new restaurant was, but no one mentioned HOW IT LOOKED INSIDE. Ah-mazing:

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melrose theatre



The special private event was held to celebrate the premiere of Cambria’s latest quartz product: Brittanicca.

cambria brittannica

the stunning Brittanicca, available at Smokey Mountain Tops

I had seen Brittanicca recently when my friend, Elizabeth of Superior Construction & Design in nearby Lebanon posted photos on Facebook after installing it in her client’s home.

kristie barnett and elizabeth scruggs

Elizabeth Scruggs and myself at Cambria event

Here’s my advice for choosing the best option for your kitchen or bathroom countertop:  Choose something that reads “classic” – which means black or something with a light base that resembles marble. Countertops are expensive, and you want them to stand the test of time, right?

Unless you are going with solid black, choose an option that has a white or off-white base. And just forget about the rest of the colors. Here are my current favorites in the Cambria line:

Brittannica and Ella Cambria



These samples from their website look more towards white in real life – the backdrop of the super-white computer screen is visually deceptive. Please don’t make the mistake of choosing things like countertops, carpet, fabrics, or PAINT COLORS from internet photos. You gotta see actual physical samples – ideally, sampling them in your house.

Here’s a bonus for you! One of the best neutral paint colors to use with Cambria’s Brittanicca:

benjamin moore hazy skies

Cambria’s Brittanicca & Benjamin Moore Hazy Skies OC-48

Although the colors in the new Brittanicca are neutral, be aware that the pattern is DRAMATIC. Let it be the star of the room, because it should be. So that means no showy backsplash or floor tile, ok?

One last photo at the event – host Todd Scott is the owner of Smokey Mountain Tops, which offers the finest granite, marble and quartz surfacing for residential kitchen & bath and for large commercial projects in Nashville and Knoxville, TN.

todd scott and the decorologist

Todd Scott and Kristie Barnett

If you want to know more about care and maintenance for quartz countertops, take a look here.


  1. Elizabeth Scruggs

    Excellent post and such a fun night! Looking forward to our next adventure:)

    • Laura

      Hello I am in love with the brittanica warm cambria qurtz got my very large island which has a walnut base- I would like to do the perimeter counters the cambria black the upperer and lower kitchen cabinets are cream. Would the brittanica warm and the cambria black look alright in the same room ?

  2. Angela Schiele

    Kristie, I like the Cambria quartz you selected and I’m still trying to decide if I want absolute black granite or quartz. With the Brittanica what color would you paint existing oak cabinets?

  3. Beth L

    Gorgeous quartz. I can see this with Hazy Skies, a warm wood floor and white cabinets!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Yes, I think that would be about perfect, Beth!

      • Joanne moore

        What type of backsplash if you have white Shaker cabinets and a dark hardwood floor

  4. Joanne

    Excellent advice to choose countertops Carefully! My kitchen remodel is only 2 1/2 years old and, unfortunately, I’m already unhappy with my countertop choice. Although I totally love the quartz itself, I’m no longer in love with the pattern I chose. The longest countertop run in our kitchen is 11 feet, so this was an expensive “mistake”. Lesson learned the hard way. I should have gone classic.

    • Kristie Barnett

      Wow, Joanne, that’s too bad! Thanks for sharing your experience with us 🙁

    • Lynn

      Joanne – I’m in the process of choosing new quartz countertops for my kitchen and I don’t want to make a mistake. What pattern of quartz did you choose that you are not happy with?

      • LaDonna

        I’m wondering that too as I am looking to redo my kitchen as well.

    • Lisa Amann

      I’m about to have my kitchen cabinets painted white, have warm wood floors and am wanting cambria quartz with taupe ish gray waves thru it…so help me learn from your mistake, what is the pattern you hate Joanne?! I don’t want to make a big mistake either..I’ve looked at nearly every quartz, marble, granite warehouse there is and still don’t see exactly what I like..I like a mix of light gray with small bits of brown, but can’t find one with both colors. And I want to use quartz slabs on all backsplash and countertops…help

  5. Linda Anderson

    Thank you for this article! It has inspired me to expand my search for counter tops from “granite only” to strongly considering quartz. I didn’t realize the great choices now available in quartz. What type of back-spash do you recommend with the beautiful Cambria choices you show in your article?

  6. Betsy

    So glad to see your recommendation on Quartz. As stated above, what type of back-splash would you use with Brittanicca? Would you please run a similar blog on how to choose a black or gray quartz countertop along with a back-splash? Thank you.

  7. Mary CC from CA

    I so wished that countertop was available to us just a short time back when we were doing a total renovation of our family owned 100 year old beach cottage in Newport Beach. I really wanted a Carrera marble countertop but it was too pricey and not durable enough for a kitchen. So we ended up choosing a white Shaker cabinet with a “sand” colored quartz as our countertops. At the time of our renovation the quartz Carrera marble “look- alikes” looked “cheap” and had a definite pattern repeat. The sand colored quartz we chose is pretty and shows well in the kitchen but Brittanica would have been nicer ! We did use a white subway backsplash that brought our surfaces all together.

    Oh well, better luck next time. So when I am ready to do my dated 1980’s honey oak kitchen where I permanently reside, I definitely will be looking for Brittanica, which I already love, and I will not have to worry about the fragility that comes with real Carrera marble. Hooray !

    Thank you for the great news and article Kristie !

  8. Amy

    Thanks for posting this! We are gut renovating an open floor plan studio apartment in the city.. Planning on using Britannica in the kitchen, even though our longest countertop is only 6-8 feet long. It will be the focal point of the apartment.
    Cabinetry will be Dove White-thanks for that tip- and a white oversized subway tile backsplash. Hazy Skies seems like a green gray to me, I am thinking of Stonington Grey.. We have dark maple floors…any opinions are appreciated and thanks for this report!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Amy, make sure to test Stonington with your Britannica – Stonington has a purple/blue undertone and Britannica has a gray/green veining.

      • Amy

        Thanks for that! Perhaps I will switch to Gray Owl…

  9. Teresa

    Thanks so much for the helpful article. It’s so timely as we are in the midst of our kitchen renovation. It’s hard to envision what a little sample of countertop would look like in our entire kitchen. I did like the Ella that I saw in a model kitchen. What backsplash and paint color would you recommend? Our cabinets are espresso and floor is light gray/white porcelain tile.

  10. Marsha

    We are planning on using Brittanica on our island which will be SW Dovetail gray. Cabinets will be white. What countertops would you recommend & backsplase? Thank-you!!!

  11. Brenda

    I have installed brittanica countertops with white shaker cabinets and taupe grey vinyl planking on the floor. What color subway tile would you recommend?

  12. Darlene Dickson

    I am trying to decide on what color Cambria Quartz to put in my new renovated kitchen. I am painting my old “orangey” oak cabinets “Distant Gray” an offwhite color by Benjamin Moore. The island cabinet is going to be a darker color, possibly “Willow” by Ben Moore. The walls will be “Inukshuk” by Ben Moore. My oak floors will be stained a darker walnut color. I have decided to use Cambria “Torquay” on the dark cabinet island but would like something to correspond with that on my counters with the whitish cabinets. Any suggestions? I would like to be flexible in my accent colors of the kitchen so don’t want something too busy but a good contrast to white cabinets.

  13. Sara

    I just had Galloway Cambria countertops installed in my kitchen- 3 days new. I love it, but, it seems to have more gray in it then I thought. I have two-tone kitchen cabinets, white dove on the uppers and brown on the lowers, with light tan walls. I am wondering what to do for a backsplash now : color, style.? What other colors should I bring in to tie it all together.? Thank you!

  14. Deb

    I am wondering about pairing Britannica with Plank Fir floors and honey maple cabinets? I am also wondering about what backsplash to pair this combo with? Help please?

  15. Allan MacLeod

    I have a very small loft kitchen with fir floors and maple cabinets. Could I do the island in Britannica and the other non connected counter in 307 Carbon with Backsplash in Brittanica?

  16. Fay Hardy

    Thinking of upgrading my counter top to Cambria Quartz. Looking at the Brittanica design. My cabinets are honey oak, my floor color blends in well with the cabinets color. I have white appliances and a white short apron sink. My walls are a very light beige with pop outs of a light tan color. Do you think the Brittanica will be okay. I have country décor.

  17. Shari Robins

    Excited about kitchen remodel! I am using beautiful Cambria Brittanica on Island and counters with white dove cabinets and Benjamin Moore Hazy Skies paint. Confused about subway tile, thinking grey glass subway smoked pearl or white? Help Kristie!

    • Kristie Barnett

      Not knowing what brand you are referring to, I can only tell you to look for a warm white tile or one with a hint of green or even blue. Be sure to test the tile with the White Dove and Hazy Skies, and you should be good! Let us know how it turns out – I’d love it if you’d send photos when you’re done! You can send them to my office manager: [email protected]

      • Shari Robins

        Do you prefer 3×6 or 3X9 Glass subway tile? Thinking light grey called shell to go with Brittanica. My husband doesn’t want white, do you like grey?

        • Kristie Barnett

          Sure, as long as the gray ties in with the quartz, that would be lovely! The size of the subway tile is just a matter of preference – I like both. Be sure to think through different patterns that might be nice for laying the subway tile – it doesn’t have to be just the typical brick-style pattern!

  18. Karen healy

    We just purchased Cambria Brittanicca Gold
    For our master bath renovation
    It will be on vanity which is 120” long
    Was going to do floating seat and nitche in shower using the same quartz
    I am doing copper subway trim tiles for backsplash and oil bronze faucets and shower etc
    My questions is the vanity quartz is the wow feature what do I do shower walls 120” high on 3 walls
    Small tiles or 30×30 in large squares
    Then pebble for shower floor
    Doing floors in walnut tile 12×24 all same way and up 36” just around free standing tub
    Cabinets are creamy white floating

  19. Julia

    What would you suggest as a backsplash for Brittanica with white counter tops – besides a white subway tile or any subway tile .
    Need help! I love a smoked Barossa arabesque tile ( glass ) but not sure if it would work. We have hickory medium dark brown wood floors.

  20. R Davis

    We are changing our countertops, which I still love but the black granite has unfortunately begun cracking! We are heartbroken, but going iwth quartz this time. My cabinets were recently painted BM dove white, and the island is painted trout gray, which is has more blue undertones than I would like, but we can repaint. Problem is the floor and backsplash, which are light mexican quarry tile., with gray grout. We are thinking of Brittanicaa warm quartz for counters because it seems to pick up a bit of the backsplash, but we ar unsure, what do you think?

  21. Marie Worley

    I just got Ella installed and instantly hated my cabinets :(. I have tons and tons of cabinets and thought Ella would compliment the cabinets, but it certainly does not. So, looks like I will be investing in repainting my cabinets. Since I no longer trust myself and it is such a huge investment, could you suggest a good color for the cabinets? I have a lot of light grey (walls), cream, dark wood, and gold going on in the room with just a touch of taupe. Thanks so much. I’m just sick about it.

    • Donna Vidal

      On the Cambria website they have a Benjamin Moore paint match tool for all designs. You can choose Cambria Ella and they will show a selection of BM paint colors that would complement your quartz

      • Kristie Barnett

        Yes, they do have that feature on Cambria’s website. It can be helpful for ideas, but isn’t always what I would choose.

        • Lenora

          Kristie, would you tell us more about the tool not picking colors you would choose? I’m looking at getting Cambria Torquay quartz. No other colors are set, though I like some sort of white on the cabinets with possibly dark blue or gray on the island. The flooring is Sonoma Porcelain plank in Vintage which is a very light oak look. I’m also concerned about a lack of enough natural light in the kitchen making the whites look dull I prefer cool colors and noticed the description above of Torquay being a warm white. That flooring might be considered warm, too. So far, I’ve only seen photos but I have only a few days to give choices to the builder in another state..

      • Lenora

        That is very helpful information, Donna! Thank you so much!

  22. Mandy

    Would the Britannica go with a warm, distressed hickory island? We are building our home and will have creamy white perimeter cabinets and a hickory island. We love cambria but are having a hard time with color. I’m going with a modern farmhouse vibe. Thanks for your thoughts!

  23. Tamela Dahl

    What back splash goes with Cambria Torquay! I have white cabinets, black stainless steel appliances, handles black stainless? Please provide ideas I am struggling.


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