Some of the most important settings in the novel are rooms in the Commander's house: Offred's bedroom, the sitting room in which the family meets prior to the Ceremony, and the bedroom in which the Ceremony takes place.
Offred's description of the room in which she sleeps ("not [her] room, [she] refuse[s] to say [her]") acquaints us with some aspects of this unfamiliar reality and her standing in the community. She says, "They've removed anything you could tie a rope to." We can piece together the idea that this life she's living is considered to be too awful to many women, and so they've chosen suicide rather than this limited and objectified existence. It has "A bed. Single, mattress medium-hard, covered with a flocked white spread." From this description, we learn that Offred is alone most of the time (a single bed), that her comfort is not really of concern to community and household leaders (a medium-hard mattress), and that she is not granted the opportunity for personal expression (her blanket is utilitarian—notice she doesn't call it a "comforter" but a "spread"); even its color, white, could be symbolic of the community's expectations of her: that she be a pure vessel. She is not sexual, not dirty; she has a purpose, a sanctified one.
The sitting room is where the household assembles prior to the Ceremony. When Offred enters, she says, "I don't sit, but take my place, kneeling, near the chair with the footstool where Serena Joy will shortly enthrone herself, leaning on her cane while she lowers herself down. Possibly she'll put a hand on my shoulder, to steady herself, as if I'm a piece of furniture." Here, the household structure is enforced. The Commander, alone, can read, and he reads passages from the Bible as if to prepare himself, his wife, and Offred for the Ceremony. Serena Joy breaks the rules, wearing contraband perfume, smoking a cigarette, letting the household watch the news: small rebellions because she cannot stage a larger one. Offred kneels, the only person who must, reinforcing her position as the lowest member of the household: she's a fixture, like furniture, and not really a person. Also, when the Commander knocks, Offred says, "The knock is prescribed: the sitting room is supposed to be Serena Joy's territory, he's supposed to ask permission to enter it." Territories and rules are important here, and women are touchy about what powers they do have because they have so few.
Finally, the bedroom in which the Ceremony takes place is another important setting. Offred says, "What's going on in this room, under Serena Joy's silvery canopy, is not exciting. It has nothing to do with passion or love or romance or any of those other notions we used to titillate ourselves with. It has nothing to do with sexual desire, at least for me, and certainly not for Serena." Here, we understand fully Offred's significance, her role in the community, as well as the depths of humiliation that even Serena Joy must bear. Both women are victims of a kind, as are all women in this community.