The Pajama (Fun and) Games
Kimber Ciruli prepares for her
A portion of the galley kitchen.
The party guests.
Cozy corner with a sound system
Inspired by her home in the historic El Encanto Condos, this homeowner gathered friends for a retro-themed slumber party.
Written by Debby Larsen | Photos by Lori O’Toole
Kimber Ciruli grew up in Tucson and always has admired the El Encanto apartments, and fondly remembers its distinctive architectural style. Originally built in 1940 for prospective Davis-Monthan Air Force Base officers, the property — listed on the National Register of Historic Places — was expanded in 1960, retaining the original look of the existing structures and grounds. A central courtyard with a pool and lush landscaping add to the total ambience.
Several decades later, when she and her husband Chuck began looking for a new home, they thought of the El Encanto Condominiums. Kimber’s nostalgic bent and her perseverance through a biddling war resulted in the purchase of the sought-after condo.
The remodel involved removing popcorn ceilings and replacing old carpet. Instead of a typical list of updates, the couple chose to make their new home something fun and different.
The touches they had in mind would take the condo back to its mid-century roots. For example, for the bathroom remodel they sourced vintage pink shower and tub tiles and black-and-white octagonal floor tile. They repainted the cabinetry from white to black and changed out faucets and hardware. Their task also included finding era-appropriate details such as glass doorknobs and vintage light plates.
Kimber relates her design philosophy: “If it’s old, interesting, and good quality, it’s a contender. If it has a story, personal or otherwise, even better!” With a base of inherited mid-century pieces, Kimber searched locally for additional furniture and accessories. She discovered that items were readily available at local vintage shops including Tom’s Fine Furniture & Collectables, Russell’s Retro Furnishings, AZ Modern, 22nd Street Antique Mall, Speedway Antique Mall, Midtown Mercantile Merchants, Grey House Antiques and Adobe House Antiques. One of her favorite finds was a set of etched glasses that matched her grandmother’s glass water pitcher, which she had in storage.
Some of the couple’s first guests included long-time friends Laurel and Stewart Loew, owners of Agua Linda Farm. Impressed by the retro vibe of Kimber and Chuck’s new digs, Laurel suggested celebrating their new home with a fun “girls’ night in” retro pajama party. A plan came together quickly. Laurel’s assistance with the menu and other details of the party were invaluable.
Kimber and Laurel began to look for vintage attire for the guests — they envisioned baby-doll pajamas and marabou mules. Several items were found at local vintage clothing stores and online sources.
Old-school cocktails, such as lime gimlets, were enjoyed prior to a dinner/dessert of cheese and chocolate fondues. Kimber’s father’s vinyl collection was mined for nostalgic tunes to enjoy during games such as bingo and canasta. HG
Etched Saguaro Tumblers: Jane’s Attic, Tubac, (520) 398-9301
Glass Lamp: Tom’s Fine Furniture & Collectables, (520) 795-5210
Fondue Pot: Russell’s Retro Furnishings, russellsretro.com
Vintage PJ’s: How Sweet It Was Vintage, www.howsweetitwas.com and www.etsy.com