When Tammie Reed and her family relocated to Gwinnett two years ago, it was under less than ideal circumstances. Her husband's trucking company had gone belly up, and her family was in desperate need of a fresh start.
When things were at their lowest, though, Reed found an unexpected opportunity.
While surfing the Internet a few months ago, Reed stumbled across a classified ad for a new TV show that was seeking couples who had experienced a disastrous wedding.
Reed went through such a catastrophe during her wedding to her husband, Terrell, eight years ago. The couple's photographer canceled at the last minute, and the amateur she hired in his place accidentally exposed the film, ruining all the photos.
"The ad was really vague, but I went ahead and applied because I fit the bill," she said. "Not only has our family been through a hard time the last few years, but our wedding was hard, too. I mean, we don't have any pictures from our huge, 300-guest wedding."
A few months went by and then, out of the blue, Reed received a call from the producers of the new HGTV show "Deserving Design." They had seen her application and wanted to interview Reed and her family for consideration to appear on the inspirational home-makeover series.
"I thought, you know, we got this in the bag," Reed said. But after a few months with no returned calls, Reed's confidence faded.
"Then I didn't hear anything so I figured we didn't get it," Reed said.
She was wrong. Two months ago, the HGTV series again called Reed to let her know Vern Yip and his crew would be stopping by to make over two rooms in her home. On each half-hour episode, the former "Trading Spaces" designer makes over two rooms in the homes of people who need a break in life.
The crew asked Reed about her family's likes and dislikes, and she told them she wanted a tropical, welcoming space where she could entertain.
The family evacuated their dwelling for four days, and when they returned to their Buford townhome, a new living and dining room awaited them. Where there had once been dingy white carpet, plain walls and a beige sofa was now an open and inviting space full of life and energy.
The walls had been painted in red and tangerine stripes, with three large sunburst mirrors hanging in the back of the room.
The family's new dining room table was laid out with white china painted with a red coral motif, and eight suede-backed chairs were gathered around it.
A white coral chandelier hung from the ceiling and a cork floor replaced the old carpet.
The beige sofa was gone, and in its place was a long, dark wicker couch and tropical-themed pillows.
It was everything Reed and her family had hoped it would be.
"We love it. I would have never thought to do this, but it's perfect," Reed said. "It's exactly what I would have wanted. I wouldn't change a thing. Things were hard for a while, and they have now made our home feel so happy. It's like they brought the joy back into our home. "
The surprises didn't end in the new living and dining room, though. Out in the family's backyard, four huge tents had been set up, filled with family and friends, catered goodies and a white wedding cake decorated with orange roses.
"They threw us a surprise wedding and took lots of pictures so we would have photographs of our wedding," Reed said. "It was just the best thing. I had no idea they would be doing that, and I was just so surprised. It's like, now we have everything."
SideBar: If you watch
What: "Deserving Design," a new HGTV series
When: A sneak peek of the new series will air at 10 p.m. Sunday, and the show will air in its regular time slot at 9 p.m. Wednesdays beginning next week.
Info: Visit www.hgtv.com.