In today’s stainless-steel world filled with clean lines, sharp angles and sleek kitchen accessories, it may seem daunting to achieve the perfect antique style for your kitchen.

While it’s true that blending looks from the past with modern-day functionality can be challenging, you don’t have to be a famous designer to create the kitchen of your dreams. These tips can help you turn back the clock and design a kitchen with timeless character.

Strike a balance. When you set out to create your new look, it’s easy to go overboard, so remember that moderation is best. Make sure you’re choosing items that showcase your individual style while keeping in mind there is a fine line between Victorian Chic and your grandmother’s cookie jar collection.

In addition to knowing what elements to look for, it’s important to consider how the components can be integrated to create a harmonious look. Consider updating antique elements with more contemporary touches to create a fresh, unexpected aesthetic. For example, pair a set of ultra-chic dining chairs with an old wooden dining table passed down through your family, or upholster a simple dining bench or window seat with Victorian-patterned fabric.

Establish a focal point. If you’re overwhelmed trying to envision how all the details will come together, many designers suggest the first step is defining the focal point for your kitchen. In many cases, that will be the appliances.

Antique appliances lend themselves to a range of styles, from Victorian to farmhouse to cabin and cottage. While it’s possible to purchase refurbished antique models, if you want your appliances to include modern features and functionality, you might consider antique-inspired appliances.

Equipped with the latest in cooking technology, these appliances have been designed to meet the culinary standards of nearly any home chef, and include a selection of customizable ranges, refrigerators, microwaves, wall ovens and matching dishwasher panels.

Add accents with purpose. Once you’ve established the centerpiece (or centerpieces) for your kitchen, you can add smaller details as you go. Visit antique stores and flea markets to look for finds such as vintage kitchen tools, antique serving platters, and cast-iron cookware.

Antiques frequently show some wear and tear, so make sure any items you are planning to purchase are in good condition. Also, remember that vintage items can be delicate. If you’re planning to put an item to use daily, ensure it’s in good working condition and will be up to the task.

Incorporate rustic elements. Rustic home decor can turn something that was once rugged into something beautiful. An example of this is reclaimed wood accents, which can be functional, attractive and eco-friendly.

Use reclaimed wood to create butcher-block countertops, cabinetry or to design a one-of-a-kind kitchen table. Pine offers the most authentic rustic design, but it can be soft and susceptible to dents. Hickory, alder, and cherry can also deliver a cozy, rustic feel. “Live edge” tables and accents, which preserve the natural edge of the wood in the design, are another way to add a rustic but current aesthetic.

When you’re ready to retrofit your kitchen into perfect past-present harmony, remember these tips, give yourself permission to take chances and get creative to whip up the kitchen of your dreams.