A DIY fan has recreated the Friends kitchen for less than £750

So no one told you renovating was gonna be this way...

A DIY fan has recreated Monica Geller's kitchen - and it only cost £750. With second-hand bargains and some help from her friends, she and her husband kept costs down.

Desiree Elias, a childcare worker from Urbana, Ohio, always wanted a kitchen just like Monica's. Here's how she brought her Friends-themed kitchen ideas to life, dealing with some unexpected challenges.


plain kitchen with brown cabinetry

(Image credit: Desiree Elias)

Previously, the L-shaped kitchen had plenty of natural light, but the wooden cabinetry was dark and outdated. Once Desiree moved in, things soon changed. Speaking to LatestDeals.co.uk, she said, 'Monica’s kitchen from Friends has always been my dream kitchen.

'My husband agreed when we bought our first home that we could make it a reality.' Their home was built pre-1900s, so there were a few surprises along the way on this DIY and decorating project.

This included a giant hole in the wall behind the upper cabinets and water damage. When a storm hit, they lost all power in their home, so Desiree and her husband had to lay new flooring using a torch.

Friends kitchen after

monica from friends-inspired kitchen with blue cabinetry and open shelving

(Image credit: Desiree Elias)

Desiree and her husband also had to move some of the electricals and plumbing, 'feeding the wires through old rock walls in a not very well lit space.' They installed new lower kitchen cabinets, painting them all in 'rushing stream' blue, and added knobs and drawer pulls.

The pair also painted the iconic Friends purple door, and applied the self-adhesive textured wallpaper that gives the illusion of exposed brickwork. Having realised they didn't have enough of the wallpaper, they ordered more and had to wait for the extra rolls to arrive.

Desiree and her husband also built the open shelves and bar area (above) from blonde plywood. Their friend built the upper shelf and breakfast bar in their basement for more room and easy access to tools.

bright blue kitchen units inspired by monica from friends' kitchen

(Image credit: Desiree Elias)

'He used a table saw and set up jigs to make them all the same size, then he used wood glue and a Kreg Jig to assemble them. We then installed the countertop, sink, breakfast bar area and open shelves,' says Desiree.

'We did all the work ourselves with two wonderful friends who know how to do all the things and guided us through it,' she adds. Desiree is over the moon with how her dream kitchen turned out, and says it helps her channel her inner Monica Geller.

'I’m still in shock every time I walk into the kitchen because I can’t believe we actually did it,' she says.

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.