NEWINGTON - Forget everything you ever learned about bunk beds.
A visit to the Bedroom Connection on the Berlin Turnpike will reveal a whole new era of bunking. Owner Mark Fichandler has turned the tables - or the bed frames, rather, since he opened his new store two weeks ago.
After 30 years selling custom-made dinettes, kitchen islands and dining room woodcraft at Dinette Depot next door, Fichandler and his business partner, Barry Lustig, decided to move into bedroom furniture.
“Because we do so much business with the custom-made dinettes we thought, there could be a real market for custom beds as well,” Fichandler said. “We’re just trying to be a little different than other furniture stores.”
His main supplier is Maxtrix, which offers beechwood units in every color and size, which can be built upon right along with growing families.
“It’s not like it used to be,” Fichandler said. “You start off with a simple bed and as the kids grow you add pieces in.”
That “simple bed” can be made into a loft, with several options for ladders and staircases. A dresser can be hidden underneath and rolled out as needed. When another child comes along, another bed can be added to the set. A full unit can accommodate up to four people, with two beds up top and a trundle in the lower bunk. A staircase doubles as a set of drawers for extra storage.
“We want people to feel like they can come in and build their own set rather than just settling for what’s available” Fichandler said.
Since he opened earlier this month, people have quickly been discovering he carries the brand.
“We’ve had people come in that bought a Maxtrix set 10 years ago and needed to add a piece,” Fichandler said. “The company’s been in business a long time.”
He also carries Oak Design, another line of children’s bedroom sets, which is based in New Hampshire.
“They’re one of the few American-made companies left,” Fichandler pointed out.
The large store features dozens of bedroom displays, which kids and their parents or grandparents are allowed to explore to their heart’s desire. New units are kept in a warehouse building across the highway, in the same plaza Dinette Depot opened in three decades ago.
Right now, comic book artwork and animal toys decorate whimsical displays. These accents are currently not for sale, but will be in the near future, according to Fichandler.
“We wanted people to be able to see what it could look like in their own homes,” he explained. “Plus we want it to be fun for kids to come here and try out the beds.”
Also coming soon is a full line of bean bag chairs.
Bedroom Connection is located at 2691 Berlin Turnpike in Newington. Hours are Monday through Wednewday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Thursday 10-8, Friday and Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 11-5. Dinette Depot is located in the same building and open from 10 to 8 every night except Sunday, when the doors close at 5 p.m.
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or firstname.lastname@example.org.