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Trundle transforming where children sleep. We collaborate with kids and their caretakers to create safe, inspiring spaces where they can dream.  Combining creativity, a small budget and teamwork, we make visible progress, quickly. Children learn that they don't have to settle for things as they are. Simply applying a fresh coat of paint, they prove to themselves that they can begin to change the walls and world in which they live. Co-founded by Maris Garcia and Kristen Zelenka.

Meeting the Quillo Family!


Meeting the Quillo Family!

Kristen Zelenka

Welcome to the Trundle blog! We couldn’t be more excited to kick-off Trundle with the wonderful Quillo family. Please join us to follow their sleeping area transformation and learn tips for how you can change your space too!


Connect: How we met

This winter, we were very fortunate to be connected with Dr. Nancy Robb, the Superintendent of my home high school district in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. When we explained Trundle’s mission, Dr. Robb, immediately understood the high demand of a service that helps transform where kids sleep so they can dream and get the rest they need to be healthy, happy and ready to learn.

She quickly connected us with Lauren Burke, one of the high school social workers. Lauren knew Memo, a sophomore track star and aspiring mechanical engineer, would be a great fit for our first transformation because of his diligence at school and warm demeanor. The next week, we arranged a meeting at Palatine High School and met Memo’s mom, Mrs. Quillo.

Maris and I knew instantly how lucky we were to be introduced to Mrs. Quillo. She has a beautiful spirit, and as we learned more about her family, we were taken with how close-knit they are. We asked Mrs. Quillo if we could partner as a team to co-design and create a new sleeping space for her sons, Memo and his ten-year old brother Daniel. We are so very happy that she said yes!

It was official – we had found our first family for Trundle! We exchanged contact information and set the date for our first visit to the family’s home.


Create: The amazing home visit

Mrs. Quillo and the whole family welcomed us into their apartment with smiles and open arms. Everyone was there–the parents, the two brothers, and even their older sister Joanna!

We sat down to talk with the family, and as you can tell from the photo, they are very loving and close! They shared their family photo albums and stories about the family’s immigration from Mexico to the Chicago area five years ago. Now, they find Chicago home and are heavily involved with the community when they are not sitting on the couch together watching The Amazing Race.

Memo and Daniel gave us a tour of their room. Memo showed us his athletic medal collection. He is a dedicated track athlete and honor student who likes to spend time with friends at his church’s youth group. As a math wiz and history buff, he often helps his sharp little brother with his homework. Daniel loves sci-fi, especially Dr. Who and can talk in an Australian accent impressively well. Both brothers are very close with Joana, who is attending college to become a nurse practitioner.

During the tour of their room, it became clear that the brothers could benefit from:

  • a desk–they currently work at the kitchen table and get distracted by TV
  • storage for clothes, school materials, and toys
  • new beds–the boys have outgrown their sawed apart bunk bed that has seen better days

We worked together to measure the room. The siblings played with model foam core furniture to brainstorm ways to optimize the space (much easier than moving real furniture). It was really inspiring to see them work together and talk out different ideas! They quickly agreed upon an L-shaped loft solution for their two beds so they could each have a little privacy as well as open up the floor space.  

Maris demoed how to use Pintrest as a way for all of us to collaborate online. Since our initial visit with the Quillo family, Pintrest has been the greatest tool for helping all of us share inspiration, style preferences and purchase decisions. Check out the details of our Pinterest board to see our thoughts for the room and stay tuned for more updates! If you’re not already on Pintrest, you can sign up for it here.