by Martin and Judith Miller (Crown)
If God is in the details, this must be the bible for historic design. Trying to pick a ceiling rose? Frozen over what to do with a frieze? Having difficulty imagining the 19th-century mantel that once graced the gaping hole in your parlor? The Millers' unabridged, beautifully photographed, and surprisingly accessible sourcebook not only gives you loads of historically accurate windows, doors, cornices, floors, and roof tiles to ogle, it helps you understand what the creators of these architectural details had in mind—which will help you make up yours.
Most surprising fact: Before the early part of the 17th century, most floorboards in England weren't nailed down but, like locks, were removed when the house was vacated.