Pick a nationality, pick a period, pick a style.
Successful design depends heavily on proportions. Use the Golden Mean when designing your piece.
Ken mentioned Mack Headley: he has written articles for Fine Woodworking on carving features for period furniture.
He showed a photo of a Queen Anne style Secretary he built in 1991. He also showed the dimensioned drawing he made for it.
He brought up a couple of points that are important when putting together a piece.
1. Match the wood grain pattern across the piece.
2. Allow for seasonal wood movement.
3. Make sure the case is square before the glue sets up.
4. Moldings add to the appearance.
5. Use patterns for legs and moldings.
Ken's pieces often have ball and claw feet, frets up top, and fluted columns along the side. It takes time to learn to carve the ball and claw features.
He recommended Horton Brasses, Inc. for hardware.
Bruce Powell recommended a book by Gustav Ecke: Chinese Domestic Furniture in Photographs and Measured Drawings.