Friends: 3 Interior Trends From The Show That Still Work In 2021

From the purple walls to the quirky frame hanging above the peephole, Monica Geller (played by Courteney Cox) and Rachel Greene's (played by Jennifer Aniston) apartment from "Friends" is, without a doubt, one of the most iconic apartments in television history. In 1997, after an anonymous neighbor revealed its location to The New York Times, the "Friends" building became a bustling tourist spot for diehard fans — despite the fact that the actual show was filmed at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California (via The Hollywood Reporter). Who could blame them? The West Village is teeming with iconic yet fictitious on-screen locations, including coffee shops, restaurants, and nightlife venues.

With the "Friends" reunion, aptly titled "The One Where They Get Back Together," streaming live for all to see on HBO Max, many fans are finding new ways to immerse themselves in "Friends" nostalgia — from booking a two-night stay in the "Friends" apartment to wandering The Ultimate Experience for FRIENDS Fans.

If you're interested in reconnecting with the gang but you're not in the market to buy a plane ticket or a bunch of "Friends" memorabilia, here are a few interior trends inspired by the show that still work in 2021 — whether you're looking to embrace your inner Rachel or channel the oh-so-organized Monica.

The color purple

Have you ever wondered why Monica and Rachel's (later Monica and Chandler's) apartment is a bold shade of lilac? According to the show's set designer, John Shaffner, the color choice was an important part of the show's identity."Nobody likes change until I painted the little model [apartment] purple. Color is really important in establishing the show identity," Shaffner told the Great Big Story. "When you switch to 'Friends,' you see that it is purple and you stay tuned." 

Purple may have been a bold choice in 1994, but it's pretty popular today. In 2018, Pantone named Ultra Violet the color of the year, and "millennial" purple became the "it" color amongst fashionistas and interior decorators alike (via Sampleboard). If you're unsure about repainting your walls, try hanging purple curtains, putting up purple wallpaper (as an accent wall), or buying a purple sofa. You could also start small with accent pillows or a vibrant rug.

Mismatched furniture

While the apartment itself is astronomical in price — according to Burton Roofing, the two-bedroom Greenwich Village apartment had a value of $2.2 million in 2019 — the furniture is oddly relatable. There's a lumpy off-white couch, mix-and-match pillows, and a variety of understated lamps. "[These characters'] furnishings came from swap meets, thrift stores," said decorator Greg Grande (via Style at Home), adding that he was trying to create a look that said these characters work hard "to make ends meet" but have good taste. "So, what I did with that was basically create this eclectic feeling where each piece is interesting in its own right, but that doesn't necessarily mean it came from a showroom," Grande continued. "It came from the swap meet, the thrift store, Pottery Barn."

If you're looking to adopt Grande's eclectic style, visit a local thrift store and grab a few mismatched coffee tables or some antique-looking side tables. Anything that's worn yet chic will do (including artwork or interesting frames). If your apartment or living area isn't exactly spacious, opt for shabby-chic lamps or mix-and-match pillows. If you can't find something right away, don't get discouraged. According to Apartment Therapy, most thrift stores receive new inventory on the weekends. Meaning, Monday or Tuesday is the day to shop. Bonus: Thrift store items are usually very affordable, which means you can get an on-trend look for a fraction of the normal retail price.

Vintage posters

The wall art in the "Friends" apartment is just as eclectic as the furniture, and there's a running theme throughout the collection: vintage French posters. The most memorable piece of artwork in the living room is a large 19th-century French advertisement that sits above the TV. And, just like everything else in this two-bedroom sanctuary, there's a story behind it.

According to set decorator Greg Grande, the poster was a last-minute decision. "I had a tapestry that I got out of the Warner Brothers drapery department; it was a super old tapestry that could've been from the 1900s, maybe even earlier, but it was kind of religious," he told Entertainment Weekly. "So I had to scramble a little bit and that's how I ended up starting to flip through my research books of circus and French posters from the early 1900s." What's more? The poster hid a cutout in the wall that allowed them to film from behind it. You can find your own vintage posters in sets of six or more on Etsy and Amazon.