If you haven’t seen the Chicago Home + Garden July/August Kitchen & Bath issue yet, we thought we’d get you in the right frame of mind by sharing notes from our colleague, Kristin Shea, after she attended the Parenthesis Kitchen Walk in Oak Park this spring. Here, five things she found very impressive.

Porcelain tile floor that mimics the look of hardwood
We came across a dark wood floor (above, top) that was actually porcelain tile! The designer of the kitchen was Pamela Polvere.
Stainless steel-like countertops
Also in Polvere’s kitchen, we saw a very sleek, shiny silver countertop. I’m not sure if the material was chrome or stainless or if it was just the finish applied onto a stone, but we thought it was cool.  
Barbara Barry for Ann Sacks backsplash
I loved the diamond pattern of the Barbara Barry tile that designer Jean Stoffer used in her kitchen (above, center).
Lots of refrigerator and freezer drawers
We toured a lot of smaller kitchens with limited space. While this isn’t a new idea, we were still impressed by the use of space. We also liked the sink made from a solid block of granite (above, bottom) by Designs For Living.