By Ruth Kinane
March 21, 2018 at 02:40 PM EDT

The biggest mystery surrounding apartments on Friends was just how the heck they afforded them (the girls’ is a huge, West Village spot and Monica is often unemployed, while Rachel serves coffee for the first few seasons), but one question finally being answered is why the pad was purple.

Talking to Great Big Story, the show’s set designer John Shaffner explained on why he opted for that bold shade of lilac for the walls in Monica and Rachel’s (later Monica and Chandler’s) place. “Color is really important in establishing the show identity,” he explains, admitting that no one else was initially on board with the color. “When you switch to Friends, you see that it is purple and you stay tuned.”

Friends - Season 2
Credit: Gary Null/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Considering the comedy’s longevity and popularity to this day, it seems to have done the job.

Another enigma Shaffner helped clear up? That reason behind that random door to nowhere by the window. “One of the responsibilities of a production designer is to look into the future. If you can, anyway,” says Shaffner, although he admits he didn’t know that Monica would turn out to be a secret hoarder. “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?'”

Watch the video above.



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