Research is the meat that feeds the beasts of imagination and invention. It is never an end in itself.
Before plotting, get a ‘sense’ by browsing books to pick up facts, labels and jargon. All this gives a flavour of authenticity and enriches the plot. Find out about the antique furniture and decide on props for filling the settings. Then write.
Now, once the first draft is complete, return to research for specific facts that relate to the story.