It’s now 25 years since we first met Rachel, Monica, Chandler, Joey and Ross and Friends is still as popular as ever. New generations who weren’t even alive when it began have discovered it and binge-watched through it on Netflix. They’ll have found that lots of things have changed over the years, not least the fashions and interior design trends, which isn’t surprising, but have you ever wondered what Friends would have looked like if it hadn’t been made in the 1990s?
These images show what Monica Geller’s iconic apartment could have looked like across the decades, starting way back in the roaring 20s:
There would have been a lot of differences between Friends of the 90s and Friends of the 20s, which would have had something of a Great Gatsby feel to it. Monica’s apartment probably wouldn’t have been quite so lavish as all that (she’s only a waitress after all) but we’re sure the set designers would have incorporated plenty of art deco touches along with plenty of monochrome color schemes.
After the Wall Street Crash in 1929, New Yorkers like Monica would have had to scale back their spending, and that’s reflected in this version of her apartment. It’s not a million miles away from the last decade, but you can see that everything is a little bit more natural and simple. But there’d still be some flamboyant touches, like that mirror, for example.
There may have been a war on, but Monica’s apartment was looking much more colorful by the 1940s and you can see the shifting trends for interior design with the tub-style dining chairs in the kitchen. The sofa is also looking much more adventurous with its patterned upholstery, but the biggest news is the upgrade in refrigerator, always essential when Friends come around for a meal.
Even more colors for the 50s, as you might expect. America was at its most confident in this decade and you can definitely imagine Monica bopping around this apartment to Elvis or Little Richard. The dominant turquoise colour certainly brings it all to life while the living room is full of mid-century modern furniture.
If this was Phoebe’s apartment, we can imagine there’d be a lot of tie-dye hippie chick on display, but Monica still would have embraced some of the adventure of the decade with her space-age lamp and slightly psychedelic pattern on the sofa. The 60s certainly would have been swinging for these Friends.
The 70s were a less innocent time for America and there’s definitely more seriousness in the interior design here, although still plenty of color with the pinstripe wallpaper. The fridge-freezer is rather more functional than the classic design of the previous decades, but also more practical, which is more than can be said for what would surely come in the next decade…
But wait, is this the 80s? Believe it or not, this decade wasn’t all about the neon and the garish colors, and a sophisticated gal like Monica would have gone for this more subdued look instead. As it turned out, she was saving the crazy colors and designs for the 90s, and you already know what that looked like.
Which decade of Monica’s apartment did you like the best? Did any inspire you to try out a new look for your home?