Maid Room Designs Guide Singapore (2021 Edition)
It is important to offer your domestic helper a proper living quarter so that she can gain enough rest after a long day working. Logically, a well rested person is a productive person. That is quite true, especially for those who come home to a hard day’s work and enjoy home cooking and a good night’s rest. And precisely because your helper is the one doing theses tasks of cleaning and cooking for your home daily, its natural to say they are an extended member of your family. As such, they should work and live in your home in a safe and positive environment for their well-being in mind.
1. Good practice guidelines
Your helper should at least be provided a mattress, pillow, blanket, storage space, bathroom amenities and toiletries. Some furniture stores offer clever storage solutions in the form of storage space and compartments integrated at the bottom of custom-made beds to maximize space use.
It is not uncommon that most domestic helper rooms have little to no ventilation, such has having no windows in the room. There are multiple solutions to make up for the lack of proper natural ventilation and ensure that temperature is suitable. A good guideline is to ask yourself - would you feel comfortable living in this area?
One of the most important practices which is often overlooked. Apart from having their own quarters, maids must also feel at ease in their personal space. This is often considered if there is more than 1 household helper employed. Make sure they have their own space to relax in.
2. Things to avoid
Allowing your domestic helper sleep in the living room
Some employers insist their helper to sleep on a sofa in the living room. This is not recommended as the helper does not have enough privacy for herself. If you really have no choice, you might want to partition the living room by using folding screens – they can be removed easily – or thick curtains or even blinds as temporary room dividers.
Requesting your helper share room with an adult or teenager of the opposite sex
In Singapore, this is illegal as it is against domestic helper accommodation requirements. The best option is having you or your family member sharing a room while providing your helper with a room for herself to rest and recuperate.
Install video cameras at the helper’s sleeping or changing area
Although the law does not prohibit employers from installing video cameras at home, you should inform your domestic helper of the devices and where they are placed, even by a written record to avoid any disputes. You must not install video cameras in areas that will compromise her privacy or modesty, e.g. where she sleeps, change clothes, or the bathroom area.
3. Room Design
For Singapore homes, especially for HDB homes, there are often spare rooms which are the main rooms of choice for your helper's accommodation. Traditionally, most maid’s rooms are located next to the kitchen because the first task of the day is to prepare the breakfast. And with the toilet and bath conveniently located, you can actually connect the two rooms to create the much needed room. Another interesting method is converting the bomb shelter into a maid’s room, in the event you don’t have an allocated room. However, you must make sure that the bomb shelter will have provisions required for a maid’s room. When designing the room, take into consideration the overall size, ventilation for natural air and light and the goal of keeping them comfortable and happy at all costs.
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