Having watched every episode of Friends more than once, I have a lot of questions regarding various elements of the set, script and characters.
I mean, what happened to Ben? What was Gunther’s last name? Did Emma inherit Rachel’s original nose? How come Rachel doesn’t remember Chandler in the first episode, despite the fact that they hung out regularly at the Gellar’s house as teenagers? And, most importantly, why is Monica’s whole apartment purple?!
Sure, this was the ’90s – a decade where a lot of questionable things happened – but why a purple apartment? What’s wrong with magnolia?
Just take a look at those wild walls in all their glory in this video…
The color choice is certainly bold, but what makes it even more shocking on the eye is the fact that every inch is coated in a thick layer of the lilac paint, from the skirting boards to the doors and even the light switches! For someone who is so pedantic about perfection, this chaotic paintwork seems very out of character for Monica. So, what were the set designers thinking?
Thanks to Great Big Story, who quizzed Friends set designer John Shaffner, we now know exactly what was running through his mind when he conceived Monica’s apartment. Talking about his controversial decision to plaster the walls purple, Shaffner explained:
“When we were presenting Friends, I presented a white model [of Monica’s apartment] and the producer looked at it and said, ‘Well, now what are we going to do about color?’ and I said, ‘I think we should paint the set purple.’ Everyone was really anxious about it until I painted the little model purple. Colors really important in terms of establishing the show identity. When you switch to Friends you saw that it was purple and you stayed tuned.”