What's Wrong With Monica's Apartment In Friends, According To Designers

While there have been some pretty memorable homes on television, few are as iconic as Monica and Rachel's apartment in "Friends." A central part of the series, the Greenwich Village apartment housed almost every member of the "Friends" group during the show's 10 seasons — with the exception of Ross, who had lived there previously while trying to make it as a dancer.

When it came to crafting the set for "Friends," production designers John Shaffner and Joe Stewart told Refinery29 that they wanted something that would stand out. The duo submitted multiple designs to the studio and although no one was initially on board with the purple walls, the color was ultimately selected to grab the audience's attention. Now, decades later, the New York City home is still recognizable because of its wall, with fans wishing they could live in the purple apartment. And while there are recreations of that and other sets from the show that fans can visit, there's nothing quite like the original.

The production designers and set decorators also wanted to make the sets feel lived in so they routinely added new décor and switched out the artwork. These constant subtle changes are what gave Monica and Rachel's apartment the personality and eclectic feel that still resonates with viewers today. However, while some of the décor is trending and could continue to trend in the future, not all of the décor and furniture seems to fit the apartment's aesthetic.

Some questionable décor choices

Katie Stix, a design director in Tennessee, spoke with Insider about her thoughts on the iconic apartment's design. "The mismatched furniture properly relays the women's young, single, New York lifestyle in the '90s," she explained. Stix also voiced her thoughts on the wall color. "The purple walls are bold but iconic," she continued.

Despite praising the furniture selections and color choice, Stix expressed some distaste towards a table lamp by the sofa. "I cringe every time I see the table lamp; it's too old looking for them," she added. "Maybe Monica's aunt left it behind." Her suggestion is definitely plausible, as John Shaffner revealed in an interview with Refinery29 that the lamp, which had been found in a prop house and was used out of necessity, had unknowingly been designed by an Italian fabric designer and was quite pricey.

Los Angeles based interior designer, Lonni Paul, also provided some input on the design for Insider. "This apartment layout works because it leaves a circulation path from the bedroom," Paul shared. "However, the unruly plant on the TV cabinet looks like it needs some help." She also had an issue with oddly placed décor on a chair by Rachel's bedroom door; the with yellow and red pillows on the chair "stand out and feel out of place."

The lasting legacy of the Friends apartment

Along with Monica and Rachel's apartment, Insider asked interior designers to review other famous TV homes including the loft from "New Girl" and Carrie Bradshaw's apartment in "Sex and the City." The designers shared their thoughts on each of the spaces, and when comparing the "Friends" apartment to other television homes, we think the apartment comes out on top.

However, while the "Friends" apartment is a fan favorite, and arguably a designer favorite, it hasn't stopped interior designers from reimagining the space. With its exposed brick, wood beams, and black and white tile in the bathroom, the "Friends" apartment has some pretty timeless and reliable features to build off of.

Modsy, an online interior design service, reimagined the space in 2018 with three designs: one for Monica and Chandler, one for Rachel, and one for Joey. The designs, although they no longer featured the purple walls, paid tribute to each of the characters. Monica and Chandler's design was warm and inviting with eclectic touches similar to those in the original apartment. Rachel and Joey's though, weren't as similar and felt more in tune with the characters, as Rachel's apartment was very chic and refined with lots of texture and Joey's was a modern bachelor pad.