Servant's quarters were generally overlooked in decorating and homemaking books. Ella Rodman Church was unusual in that she devoted a whole chapter to them, albeit a very short one.
The servants’ quarters would generally be found on the third, or top floor of houses. The stairs to this floor would often be covered in an old Venetian carpet runner, or even just bare, stained and varnished wood, which was “not at all necessary to be ashamed of”.
This floor could also hold other family or guest bedrooms and perhaps a storeroom.
It had been noted by some, that in many moderate houses the servant’s room had no comforts of any kind. Ella Rodman Church voiced the opinion that a person who worked hard all day should had a right to the comfort of a “clean and at least moderately soft bed,….. and if she has a pleasant, comfortably appointed room to retire to, she will be likely to take all the more pains with herself and her work.”
Pillow shams were considered to be out of place, but the bed should be furnished with clean pillow cases and sheets. The blankets could be gray, which were half the price of white ones. A warm comforter should also be provided. A bureau should be available, for the girl’s bedlinens and belongings. A tasteful red or blue calico coverlet could cover the bed. If there were two servants, she advised that it would be preferable to have two single beds rather than one large one, as long as the size of the room allowed it. Two beds would prevent discomfort and quarreling.
Pitchers and washbowls, along with the necessities for washing should be supplied so that the maids wouldn’t have to wash themselves in the kitchen. A good supply of towels should also be provided.
An inexpensive or rag carpet should be provided and curtains to match the bedspread.
Other furnishings should include a table of some kind, a low chair and one or two higher ones. If there was no closet, there should be a row of nails upon which to hang clothes.
A few pictures on the walls would be a pleasant touch and “make a servant feel that she has been considered beyond the mere necessaries of life“.
Mrs. Church also makes note that: “A serviceable pin-cushion on the bureau will till a void that is usually gaping in this class, while a receptacle for pins that would otherwise find their way to the floor might save the mistress's stores from unlawful raids“
“The heat that comes up from below will usually make the servants' room warm enough to prevent water from freezing in it; and this, with the comfortable kitchen for a sitting-room, will be all that is necessary“.