Would you still recognize Monica and Rachel’s apartment in the groovy decor of the 1960s? What about in the bare bones style common throughout the 1940s?
To celebrate the 25th anniversary this weekend of the launch of the iconic show Friends, home services website Angie’s List has put together images of what Monica Geller and Rachel Green’s apartment would look like in different decades before the show premiered.
Each photograph plays up design trends popular in that decade — from the striped wallpaper and “mushroom lamps” of the 1970s to the art deco tabletops popular across homes in the 1920s. The setup is pretty much the way the gang liked it, though the walls, consistent with styles popular in each time period, are not always purple.
“Even today, first-time homeowners too young to watch Friends the first time round are catching the reruns and immediately ordering purple paint and gold frames for their interiors,” Angie’s List writes on its site. “But what if the Friends apartment had existed before the gaudy nineties even happened?”
Take a look at what everyone’s favorite apartment (even Joey and Chandler knew it was better!) would have looked like in each decade before the start of the show here:
The 1920s: "The roaring twenties was an optimistic moment, as the century’s early developments in modernism and mass media started to bear fruit," said Angie's List. "Homeowners turned to the first Hollywood films for ideas such as art deco furniture, and clean, bold lines and glossy surfaces."
The 1930s: "Scandi-chic hit America in the 1930s, though the Wall Street Crash of '29 meant that simple, natural-looking furniture was often an economic necessity," said Angie's List. "But in homes that could afford it (and Monica always seemed to have plenty of money) we’d see the introduction of new and exciting pieces like the Alvar Aalto chair pictured on the far right."
The 1940s: "Abstract patterns on the rug and upholstery would have kept Joey hypnotized for hours were he not conscripted to go fight in World War 2," said Angie's List.
The 1950s: "The bold turquoise palette of the 50’s would have brightened up Monica’s apartment, even when ‘the rain starts to fall,'" said Angie's List. "But the highlight of the space would have to be the mid-century modern living room furniture gathered around the sleek coffee table."
The 1960s: "The psychedelic 60’s would have seen an explosion of ‘far-out’ patterns and crazy colors invading the apartment," said Angie's List. "And we’re sure Ross would have loved the space-age lamp that would light up the room as the gang watch Neil Armstrong take his first steps on the moon."
The 1970s: "The 70’s was a bold decade with lots of cultural clashes, so it’s no surprise that Monica’s apartment would reflect this with strong furniture colors and a (somewhat) clashing pinstripe wallpaper," said Angie's List.
The 1980s: "Everything got bigger in the eighties: the hair, the appliances, the credit card bills," said Angie's List. "But Monica seems to have kept it quite subdued with this refined 80’s apartment."
Email Veronika Bondarenko