The Set Designer of ‘Friends’ Shares Why Monica’s Apartment Had Purple Walls and a Mysterious Door

Since we’ve been posting a number of videos deconstructing the individual personalities of the characters on the now-classic sitcom series Friends, it seems only right to understand how the set was created. Luckily, Great Big Story had the opportunity to speak with the renowned production designer John Shaffner about his thought process behind the purple walls and the mysterious door in Monica’s apartment, the style of the coffee shop and the general feel of the entire environment.

I said I think we should paint the wall purple. Everybody was really anxious about it. Nobody likes change until I painted the little model purple. Color is really important in terms of establishing the show identity. …One of the responsibilities of a production designer is to look into the future. If you can. We put a door all the way up this hallway and we really didn’t say where it went to. I said, why don’t we just wait and see where the story is taken.