Creative Designs with Wood

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin 139 Sales On Etsy since 2012

5 out of 5 stars (20)


Creative Designs with Wood

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin | 139 Sales

Robert Johnson

Contact shop owner

Robert Johnson



Last updated on Jul 9, 2019



Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
See reviews that mention:
quality 7 shipping 4 customer service 5

About JohnsonFurniture

Sales 139
On Etsy since 2012


Robert Johnson was born and raised in Cheboygan, Michigan and now resides in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin and Rio Verde, Arizona. As a teenager, Robert loved woodworking with his father and took several class's that were available. After attending Ferris State College in Photographic Engineering he moved to Lake Geneva and later attended Gateway Technical College in computer science. Robert was a software developer for over 20 years working as Chief Development Officer for a computer software company, he also was a woodworker at heart and pursued woodworking as a hobby. Robert learned new techniques over the years taking local classes, instructional videos and reading books. Robert & his wife Mary then built their own house which they still reside in. In 2003 Robert had the epiphany that being creative in woodworking made him happier than anything else. He resolved to move his passion out of the software business and pursued his life long love of woodworking doing various projects and working several years in a cabinet shop. In 2010 Robert launched Johnson Custom Furniture and has been designing and making furniture every day since then.

Inspired by the works of Frank Lloyd Wright, several Native American artists, and the South West, Roberts vibrantly colorful work with highly figured wood is artistic yet functional. Thru his work with dyes and figured wood he continues to explore and expand the possibilities of design to create one of a kind limited production pieces. His furniture is seen on his web site, Fine Art and Craft shows in the Mid West and South West and a few selected galleries and shops.

After working for more than 20 years in the software business, he revels in the tangible and beautiful results he sees after a day in the shop. A pile of wood is transformed into something that will make someone else as happy to have it in their home as he is to create it.
7 years later he still loves what he does, and frequently claims that he has the best job in the world. When the creative juices are flowing he can't wait to get out of bed and into the shop. The second best part of his job is traveling to shows, and seeing how people really like his work.

Shop members

  • Robert Johnson

    Owner, Maker, Designer, Curator


Shop policies

Last updated on April 29, 2015
Welcome to my Etsy store, I feature on this site various wood products in the form of serving trays, cutting boards, coffee tables and select furniture.

GALLERY PIECES (Coffee Tables & select furniture):
Hand polished finish. Limited Edition of signed and numbered pieces. Each one unique. Available in different woods like Macassar ebony, Amboyna burl, Olive ash burl, Figured Maple, and Figured Cherry with patterned inlays of Gabon Ebony, Old Growth Redwood, Purple Heart, Rosewood, Padauk, Etc.
Each piece of furniture is hand crafted, limited edition and is signed and numbered. The piece bears the mark and signature of the maker, along with the edition number guaranteeing that the piece is original. Although there are several designs that I reuse in various ways, they are still truly one of a kind.
Every piece is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity which outlines all details associated with the piece including year of original design, year of creation, materials, and edition number. In some cases the editions may be limited to a specific set of materials and colors. Some pieces are unique because of the rarity of the materials.

Since all of these pieces are custom made, the client may have input as to the materials and finishes that fit their decorative taste and complement the remaining furniture in the room. See below for further information.

If you have questions, feel free to contact me.

Johnson Custom Furniture, Lake Geneva, WI.
Operating a custom furniture making shop making original pieces for customers. Over 100 fine furniture projects completed to date. (2010).

Cabinet Maker, Lake Geneva, WI.
Working as a cabinet maker for a local high end multi-million dollar custom home builder making custom built-in cabinets, libraries, and bars.


Custom furniture can be order from galleries that represent and carry my work or can be ordered direct from me.

Generally a custom piece of furniture takes between three months and two years to complete, start to finish. The number of pieces I produce each year varies between 2 and 30 pieces and depends on project size. I try to structure my work flow between custom work and creating furniture to show in various furniture shows, galleries, and art fairs. When I am not building my own work, I create custom commission pieces for private clients, decorators, and contracts through galleries.

This is how I structure a custom order for a potential client, and some of the questions I would ask to get a better idea of what they may need.

• What is the piece, what will it be used for, how big is it?
• What does the client like as far as styles or periods? (Italian renaissance, Art
nouveau, Deco, Regency, Green and Green, Contemporary, Oriental)
• Did they respond to any particular piece in my portfolio? Why?
• What is the feeling that they want to convey? Light and airy, solid, natural,
serious, engaging, involved, complex, interesting, rotund, massive, lively.
• Imagery that they are attracted to: Subject matter such as specific flowers, vines,
geometric patterns, natural free flowing designs, colorful modern, ribbons
structured or unstructured
• Lighting of the area, direct exposure to sunlight, overall color of the piece (light or
• Budget and Time line. The time line from contact to completion varies
depending on my work flow and where I am in current projects, but it ain't gonna
be done yesterday.

Project costs:
The client should be aware that the final cost of a project could run between $1000 and $80,000 depending on the scope and complexity of the job. Projects with solid gold metal trim, bone, metal, precious stone or gem inlay, large and intricate marquetry patterns and custom mechanical devices could all contribute substantially to the final cost. Once these questions have been addressed, I may also request dimensions and layout of certain rooms in the house, and photos of the room, other furniture the client has, or house exterior. Once I have all the information and visuals, I will get started on a sketch of two or three ideas, and send them to the client. Normally this design fee runs about $350 to $1200. Larger fixture or designing custom interior veneer work would be bid - time and material. Once the client reviews the sketches, they contact me with their acceptance, revisions, questions and feedback. I will give them a rough dollar estimate, if they decide on something close to what I have represented. At this point, turning back into conceptual ideas with more sketches and a follow up scale drawing may generate another design fee. The next step is to provide them with an accurate scaled version of their selection on a 8.5" x 14" sheet of paper, and I will be able to narrow the price down further.

If they accept the drawing with only minor design revisions to be made, a signed contract is drawn up and sent. They need to pay a deposit, which is broken into 1/3 of the full cost if it is over $10,000.- and 1/2 if the full cost is under $10,000.

I then proceed with any final revisions to be made to the scale drawing, create full size mechanical shop drawings, a full size cartoon drawing of the inlay to be done and a finish sample of the proposed woods and stone to be used in this project. At this point I will be able to determine exactly how much this project will cost, and estimate when it will be ready to be delivered. The final price of a project would normally be the same whether it comes through a gallery, decorator or directly from me, and will not include taxes, shipping or installation. The second payment is requested when project is approximately 1/2 complete and the final payment needs to be received before the piece is shipped.

Shipping prices:
Price of shipping is quoted out to the client at cost, with no markup. The cost of shipping can fluctuate wildly from one week to the next.(Gas prices, available space in truck...) I always have the shipping company include their cost of insurance against damage or loss. (they take better care of it this way, and the cost is often less than 1% of the total value). The piece is inspected by the shippers prior to packaging, and it is the clients responsibility to inspect, note damage upon delivery and notify the shipper (in writing) of any apparent damage. Also, I always like the client to call me after the piece is delivered to give me comments, feedback and so on. A gallery would coordinate delivery time between shipper and client, do a full follow up call once the piece has been received, and handle any problems that may occur.

I find through my experience that this method of creating custom commissions has worked well for me in the years I have been building furniture. It seems to run smoothly and gives security to everyone involved. Let me know if this is something you wish to pursue, and let us see what we can create!

Accepted payment methods

Accepts Etsy Gift Cards and Etsy Credits
Returns and exchanges
We want our buyers to be completely satisfied, were possible I will offer exchanges; however, I generally do not stock duplicates. If an exchange can not be made or if you prefer I will issue you a full refund including original shipping costs.

Refunds will be issued for returned items ONLY if the received item returns in its original condition and in the same packaging. Shipping for any return is to be paid by the shipper. Sorry no returns after 30 days. If you have any questions or issues, just ask and I will work to get it resolved quickly for you.

Lost/Damaged items will be refunded or replaced only if insurance was purchased.
We do our best to ensure that every item is protected by careful packaging. However, if an item arrives to you unexpectedly damaged we will replace it or issue full refund. Please let us know of the problem and send the item back to us asap. **You will initially pay for the return shipping, but once we receive the damaged item we will refund you your return shipping cost via Paypal.

Please report lost or damaged items as soon as possible.
Payment methods accepted are credit cards via Etsy or PayPal. Custom orders require a deposit, contact us for information.
Shipping on items in stock (listed) are 1-3 business days. Allow 30 days for most custom orders except tables.

All orders are shipped via USPS Priority Mail, Parcel Post, UPS Ground or Fedx. The method depends on the item and item weight. Orders are usually shipped 1-3 business days for in-stock items, custom orders ship when completed. I do ship international.

I do not add insurance, but if you would like me to, please let me know in the comments when placing the order. I will send you an updated PayPal invoice for the additional insurance cost.
Additional policies and FAQs
Custom orders accepted, contact us for information.