When we bought the house there were several exclusions we knew that we would have to replace pretty quickly. First and foremost were the dining room light and the fireplace surround. Both were wedding gifts to the previous family. They also took some of the draperies and all the bathroom mirrors (not previously discussed and tacky, I thought. On the other hand, I was not enamoured with some of the mirrors anyway.)
In our area we have a great architectural salvage and antique store called Materials Unlimited. One Sunday we visited and found a great light fixture. It is an electrified gas lamp c. 1895. It was beautiful and no more expensive than a nice reproduction. Luck would have it that there was also a mantle right in the doorway. After several measurement and much thought we bought that as well. Charlie trekked out to the store on Christmas Eve so that we could get it in as soon as possible. Just two days ago it was up and I love it. My history geek is also crazy about the fact that my mantle is 120 years old.
I am having a great time trying to keep the historic character in our "Victorian" home. I want very much to make the house as accurate as possible when it is practical. It has been a great education to learn about the Victorian era from another direction i.e. not the Civil War.
We still have something that have to be bought. Our sofa is too big for the smaller living room that we now have. We also need the privacy that drapes will give. I am researching textile designs by William Morris for the curtains in the living room. We also just bought a dining table in the Queen Anne style that will seat all of us and then some. Quite by chance the table is stained the same color as the mantle. Things are really coming together.