Below are some illustrations from "The Illustrated Wood Worker" ©1879 February edition. I find it interesting that the "cottage" shown below is a cottage and not a house. On the other hand, I grew up were elaborate cottages were made for people to summer in. Anyway, enjoy these tidbits and perhaps they will find their way into one of your novels.
Plate 11 is an original design by Mr. Fieder of a mantel and cabinet. The cabinet will concern our readers more than the mantel. It will be noticed that in the back of the lower part of the cabinet is a mirror in an appropriate frame. The angular shelves on each side will strike the workman as being
novel, and at the same time useful. This piece of furniture would look well if made in walnut and finished in oil ; but of course the other furniture in the room would have a good deal to do in determining the kind of wood to use for its construction.