Renovation for Simple Living "Edie's Place"


credits: Louis Schellhase

Project Name

Renovation for Simple Living "Edie's Place"


This renovation project is for Edie’s Place, a women’s residence, owned and managed by Simple Living, Inc. a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Simple Living’s mission focuses on assisting those recovering from addictive diseases to reintegrate themselves into society through independent and productive living. Edie’s place provides a safe and supportive environment for residents as they work toward their personal reintegration into society. The modifications made to the old farmhouse located in Ellsworth, Maine include bringing the building up to applicable life safety and accessibility codes while maintaining the scale and character of home.

Universal design is particularly important in the home because it allows full integration by all residents in the activities of daily living. Renovations to the home include universal living kitchen upgrades, and the replacement of a deteriorated “ell” wing as an accessible suite. The suite includes a bedroom and bathroom and incorporates the laundry and living room space for universal use. An existing attached barn is now the home’s gathering space. The barn was raised over 2’ to allow it to be accessed without the need of an interior ramp. In the kitchen the counters are at universal height and knee space is provided alongside the stove and beneath the sink. Appliances were selected with controls at the front and freezer on the bottom. Where possible, wood floors were refinished and carpeting was removed and replaced with resilient flooring for ease of mobility.

To accommodate universal parking, the resident entry is moved from the barn side of the building to the new parking lot side.   A ramp was added at this entrance alongside the designated handicapped parking space. The design of the ramp is left simple, complementing the farmhouse aesthetic and maintaining the residential feel. The residents now come in near the kitchen just like home.

Architecture or A/E Firm Name

Design Group Collaborative


Carla Haskell


Louis Schellhase, Lynda Casteris-El-Hajj, Brenda Braun


Hedefine Engineering and Design


Ellsworth, Maine


Simple Living, Inc.

General Contractor

Eden Builders