We Redecorated the "Friends" Apartments for 2016
Even though the beloved sitcom Friends is over 20 years old, it's still a solid go-to choice for any Netflix binge session. But while the jokes that shaped our younger years are still very much relevant to today's reality, the interior décor of the TV show is a little more dated. In the '90s, Monica and Rachel spearheaded the shabby-chic movement while Chandler and Joey made bachelor pads iconic—two styles that aren't necessarily coveted in 2016.
As home décor editors, we can't help but examine every last detail of TV set designs—and while we still enjoy reruns of our favourite Friends episodes as much as the next person, we have to admit the purple walls hurt our eyes a little. So we took it upon ourselves to reimagine the show's interiors—if for no other reason than to satisfy our aesthetic tendencies. Step inside the redecorated apartments of Monica, Rachel, Joey, Chandler, and Ross if they existed in 2016.
Monica and Rachel's apartment was at the heart of the show's action—and in many ways, it refined the flea-chic aesthetic that was so popular in the '90s. While we wouldn't want to change too much to the iconic purple-walled living room, we think a modern makeover is in order. To fit with today's aesthetic, we'd keep the walls neutral and bring in colour via the furniture instead: A pink sectional and dusty-blue chair seem right up the two best friends' alley.
In the girls' kitchen, open shelving and mismatched dining chairs reigned supreme. We've come a long way since the days of shabby chic—so in our updated version, we would opt for iconic midcentury chairs. We would keep the interiors a little more neutral and minimal, bringing in texture with painted floors.
Courtesy of Friends Props
Monica may have been ahead of her time when choosing her bedroom paint colour—blush pink is the colour of the year, after all—but while we understand the "undecorated" approach to her furniture choices, her 2016 bedroom would have to read less country and more Scandinavian. We would start with a half-painted wall and mismatched linen bedding.
Joey and Chandler's apartment was a true bachelor bad, where decorating choices stopped at where to put the TV and the foosball table. We would want to keep a masculine feel in their 2016 apartment, by keeping the furniture to a minimum and introducing color with the kitchen cabinets. A dark charcoal kitchen would suit them perfectly.
Courtesy of Greg Grande
In their living room, we would keep a midcentury feel with a vintage console and leather chairs—just not the La-Z-Boy kind. The TV would still have a prominent place in the room—but a minimal wall-mounted TV would look much sleeker and reflective of our decade.
Chandler Bing was an IT procurement manager, although none of his friends seemed to understand what that meant. He also loathed his job—and with such a beige office, we can understand why. In our modern-day version, he would have a sleek corporate office complete with an Eames executive chair. Of course, we would also replace the ancient PC with a sleek iMac.
Ross was a scholar, and his décor taste was a little more elevated than that of his two best friends. For him, we'd picture a sleek black-and-white interior with a gallery wall—maybe even featuring a dinosaur or two. We would also replace his sofa to read a little less club chair and a bit more Scandinavian modern.
Central Perk might be one of the most iconic TV interiors of all time—and while we debated changing it at all, we wanted to keep its essence: deep velvet sofas, bohemian flair, and all. Soho House's newest addition on Manhattan's Lower East Side seems like the perfect updated Central Perk—with a living-room feel and plenty of space to lounge around.