Over 151 Years of Service to the Furniture Industry

 Furniture World Logo

Martin Roberts of Martin Roberts Design Passes Away at 77

Furniture World News



Martin Roberts, retail design trailblazer and founder of Martin Roberts Design passed away on May 29, 2020.  He was a frequent contributor of insightful articles on retail home furnishings store design to Furniture World Magazine (recent articles can be found at https://www.furninfo.com/Authors/Martin%20Roberts/60.


Roberts was born in 1943 in England and studied at Central St. Martin’s University in London and graduated with a master’s degree in Industrial Design. Over the past 50 years Martin had worked worldwide for many of the best-known retail brands from Cartier to Wal-Mart. He created the iconic look and feel of Barnes & Noble’s stores along with the popular Sheetz café-grocery-gas stations.


Roberts founded Martin Roberts Design Inc. when he moved from New York to Connecticut. His retail clients were almost entirely focused in the home furnishing industry. In one year alone the firm designed more than one million square feet of home and appliance stores in six countries. With a client roster that included most of the top furniture retailers and with several,” Store of the Year Awards”, Roberts was often asked to speak during industry conferences on the latest and newest ideas in retail design.

“My father actually began his career designing furniture, so it was ironic that at the height of his career he was actually designing retail stores to showcase furniture,” said Toby Roberts, President of Martin Roberts Design. 

Roberts’s retail designs were part of the fashion, furniture, food and the luxury item industries. He was an adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design in New York and his work is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


He is survived by his wife Ann Roberts of 54 years, daughter Emma Artz, sons Benjamin Roberts, and Toby Roberts and four grandchildren. 

Memorial donations in his memory may be made to American Heart Association .


Furniture Industry News and in depth magazine articles for the furniture retail, furniture manufacturers, and furniture distributors.
Read other articles by Nic Ledoux