The spacious two-bedroom apartment from Friends where all of the characters lived at one time or another is unmistakable—not only due to the show's lasting popularity but also thanks to the home's quirky décor. Monica may have been known to be a type-A neat freak, but she was a woman with very eclectic taste. Along with mismatched kitchen chairs, blue cabinets, and an array of artwork were the iconic lavender purple walls. It turns out that the decision to paint the walls this hue was entirely intentional.
Production designer John Shaffner revealed in a recent interview with Great Big Story that the color purple was essential for creating the identity of the show.
Shaffner describes the process set designers go through when working on a new show, which involves creating miniature models to present to producers. "When we were presenting Friends, I presented a white model. And the producer looked at it and said, 'Well, now, what are we gonna do about color?' and I said, 'I think we should paint the set purple,'" Shaffner recalls in the interview. While he explains that the producers were initially unsure of the color choice, they eventually approved of the decision and the show's character began to develop.
"Color is really important in terms of establishing the show identity," says Shaffner. "When you switched to Friends, you saw that it was purple, and you stayed tuned."
This seemingly meaningless detail may have played a large role in the development of the show and the characters the world has come to know and love. Plus, for those with an interest in color psychology, it turns out that the purple hue symbolizes power, luxury, and ambition, all things these friends surely sought to bring into their lives (despite many mishaps along the way). The color is also thought to have calming effects and is known to spark creativity. Perhaps it's time to redecorate and switch up the paint color in your own home to something resembling the peaceful purple found in Monica's apartment.
Learn more about the making of the classic apartment in the video below.