When we think of iconic television apartments, there are several that come to mind: Carrie Bradshaw's Upper East Side bachelorette pad with the hallway-slash-wardrobe, the Upper West Side spot where Jerry and the gang talked about nothing on Seinfeld, maybe even Hannah and Marnie's decidedly more realistic Brooklyn digs on Girls. But there's one that rises above the others when it comes to both memorability and decor goals: Monica's apartment on Friends. Its dreamy lavender walls, well-placed gold accents, and enviable size definitely fuelled our New York fantasies while the show was on the air in the '90s and early aughts. It never really occurred to us that certain aspects of its design have become dated, but when we found out that, in honour of the anniversary of the show's season finale, interior design startup Modsy had given it a virtual makeover a bit more befitting of 2018, we were curious.
"For many fans, the Friends apartment in particular brings out a really intense emotion. We all have so many memories of that couch and that kitchen table that it feels like we lived there too," Alessandra Wood, Modsy's director of style, told Refinery29 in an email. Modsy, which was founded in 2015, allows customers to upload images of their homes and get back shoppable 3D makeovers created by interior design experts.
Some of the ways Wood and her team modernised the space include toning down the purple, which she says "just didn't make sense for the neutral palette trends of 2018," and upgrading the kitchen area. After all, as a chef, Monica likely would have been fastidious about keeping up with the latest in kitchen trends and technology. How else could she keep churning out those legendary Thanksgiving dinners?
"The bright blue cabinets were iconic, but we think Monica and Chandler would have wanted an adult space worthy of entertaining," Wood says. "Who wouldn't love that gorgeous tile backsplash and open space for glass and dishware?!? We know Monica's type-A personality would have kept everything polished and in its place."
Of course, there are some aspects of the space that are ageless — much like the show itself — including the beams, the factory window, and the exposed brick. Like many New York apartments, the bones of Monica's place are great, it just needed a little modernisation. But Wood cautions that when refurbishing a home, you want to make sure not to throw out the items that make it feel like, well, home.
"Like in real life, pieces that have a great story and are one of a kind such as the Jouets poster, the pickle jar, and Pat the dog in Joey's space, showcase personality in a way that doesn't go out of style," she says.
While Monica's apartment was definitely the most iconic of those in the series, Modsy also created mock-ups of updated versions of both Joey and Rachel's spaces, and the differences there are arguably even more striking. The 2018 version of Rachel is rocking a serene, largely monochromatic aesthetic (with tinges of millennial pink, of course) in keeping with her trend-conscious persona. Joey, too, as upgraded to something a bit more refined, but apparently, he still refuses to part with the foosball table. We can't say we're too surprised there.
As for which famous fictional pad will be next to undergo Modsy renovations, that's still under wraps, but Wood says they're open to suggestions from fans. Not to be cliche, but we'd love to see what the SATC apartments might look like these days.