Celebrated in the world of interior design for over 20 years, Robert Lighton Furniture offers an elegant perspective in furniture design. His collections — British Khaki, Croydon and Bedford — offer distinct colonial and contemporary style, and feature many new designs. Robert Lighton is dedicated to making the finest handmade furniture available, with service that matches quality.
In addition to our many unique designs, Robert Lighton Furniture offers both custom sizing and a complete custom service for furniture made to your specifications. Whether you’re specifying a 5-star resort or trying to satisfy an especially discriminating client, our furniture will help you make the impression you seek. Our company is dedicated to making the finest handmade furniture available.
Robert Lighton furniture is made entirely of rare tropical hardwoods — Burma teak and West Indian mahogany. The teak is reclaimed from beams of old buildings in the south of India, so no trees are cut in the process. Our mahogany is real West Indian mahogany from trees that the British planted in India in the 19th century. Today these are harvested from naturally fallen trees and sold only at government auction. Both of these woods are very dense with beautiful grain structure and are enhanced by our hand finishing process. This quality of wood and workmanship is characteristic of only the finest antiques and rarely seen in newly manufactured case goods.
Robert Lighton furniture is constructed entirely by hand using only mortise and tenon joinery. This process is far more labor intensive, as each piece is individually fitted and joined, and gives the furniture great strength. All the intricate details you see are hand carved, giving a more natural look than if they were made by machine.
Furniture finishing is done by hand in our Brooklyn workshop. Natural ingredients are used to enhance the real beauty of the wood. Clear color and soft finish with a sheen, not a shine, is our mantra. This natural finish gives a look that other manufacturers will not take the time and effort to do. Spraying with nitrocellulose lacquer is the standard in the industry.
We first use water stain, which penetrates better than other stains but requires more care as it raises the grain. It also does not leave a cloudy look as other stains do. Next comes shellac, as a sealer to set the stain and fill in the pores slightly. Finally, tung oil is brushed and wiped on over several days for a natural look and a protective finish.
This generally looks like the finish sitting on top of the wood instead of penetrating the surface as ours does. This is why our furniture looks and feels more like wood. This natural finishing process will allow your furniture to gain a beautiful patina as it ages. Chair arms and other handled parts will begin to show signs of age after some time. Eventually Robert Lighton furniture will look as an antique does, because it was made and finished exactly as antiques were made.