10 Decorating Lessons from Friends

10 Decorating Lessons from Friends

Tess Wilson
Jan 10, 2015

Now that I've run out of Gilmore Girls episodes to learn from, thank goodness all 10 seasons of Friends just started streaming on Netflix. What lessons can we glean from this great sitcom? (I'm suddenly in the mood to paint my walls purple.)

1. To Thine Own Self Be True, Furniture-Wise: Are you a dinner party type or a foosball tournament type? Placemats and candles or Barcaloungers and pizza boxes? Be honest with yourself and fun (your kind of fun) will follow. Just keep the chick and the duck at a safe distance.

2. Never Help Your Friends Move: At least not if your friends are anything like Ross. I've done the awkward Couch vs. Stairway Pivot 10 times and would like to leave it to the professionals in the future.

3. Never, Ever, Ever Gamble Away A Rent-Controlled Apartment: For goodness sake, don't do it, no matter how good you are at lightning rounds!

4. Entertaining Trumps Accurate: Sure, you could make a tedious phone call notifying TV Guide that your name is actually Mr. Chandler Bing, but isn't it far more fun to receive one addressed to Miss Chanandler Bong— even if it does get stolen every week?

5. There's No Accounting For Taste: Sometimes you love a seashell lamp and/or a girly clock and there's simply nothing you can do about it. Embrace it, remind the people you live with that you put up with a lot of their idiosyncrasies, and consider bonding with Lorelai over your shared terribly awesome taste in lamps.

6. "Furniture Should Have A History, A Story Behind It"...Usually: If everyone shops at Pottery Barn, "It’s all mass-produced, nothing is authentic, and everyone winds up having the same stuff", including cool apothecary tables that still smell of opium. But it's so hard, "because this stuff is everything that is wrong with the world! And it’s all sitting up in my living room and all I can think about is how I don’t have that lamp!" Sometimes you just have to buy the lamp. With Ross' money, preferably.

7. Love— Not Furniture— Makes A Home: Sure your roommate is dumb enough to get himself trapped in a cupboard and robbed, leaving you with nothing but shag carpet and an admittedly gorgeous canoe- but he's sweet and fun and loyal, and Ron Swanson would totally approve of that canoe.

8. Perfectly Refinished Floors Do Not A Party Spot Make: Staying up all night redecorating your new apartment might seem like a perfectly reasonable way to make your friends want to hang out at your place, but it also might make you seem crazy (and exhausted). People gather organically and you can't control that, Monica, no matter how much you love being the hostess.

9. "Inside Good, Outside Bad": Look, it's a big scary world out there, full of yelling, bad smells, elbow-throwing crowds, overstuffed buses, filthy sidewalks, street harassment, and countless other dangers and indignities. Hunker down with your best friend, cable, delivery, and comfy furniture, and stay safely indoors as long as you possibly can.

10. Close Your Curtains, For Crying Out Loud: No spoilers, but think of all the hijinks that occurred because these people consistently forgot that they lived in a crowded city directly across the street from their nosy, gossipy sibling/friends.

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