A Nursery After the Storm

After a tornado blew apart their home last January, the Reeds started rebuilding, then won a new nursery for their new baby.

By Joe O’Donnell      Photography by Wynter Byrd

On Jan. 22, 2012, a pregnant Tiffanie Reed, 28, was finishing a paper for school, while her husband, Willie Reed III, 27, and daughter, Tatum, 2, were in the other room. Tiffanie fell asleep and was later awoken by the deafening roar of a tornado hitting her home. It took Tiffanie about 10 minutes to find her family, terrified the entire time that they were hurt or worse and that the stress of these frightening events would cause her to lose her unborn child. She found her husband and daughter buried under bricks from the front wall collapsing but otherwise unhurt.The Reeds moved out of their house while it was being rebuilt (it was scheduled to be finished late last month).

(L to R) – Back Row: Willie Reed III, Tiffanie Reed, Marianne Strong of Marianne Strong Interiors, Lauren Nichols with St. Vincent’s Health System; Front Row: Tatum Reed; in the custom-decorated nursery.

Stories of survival and rebuilding are compelling in their own right, but this one has an extra twist, courtesy of St. Vincent’s Hospital, ABC 33/40 and Marianne Strong Interiors. The Reeds entered the hospital’s Nursery Contest to win a fantastic new nursery in their rebuilt home for the family’s new baby, Boston Cruz Reed. Tiffanie owns a children’s gymnastics gym in Trussville.

St. Vincent’s Health System partnered with ABC 33/40 to give away a custom-decorated nursery from Marianne Strong of Marianne Strong Interiors. Expectant families were encouraged to submit their story online (abc3340.com) over a three-week period, which ended on April 13. A panel of judges from the community narrowed down the more than 100 submissions to three finalist families — the Cade family, the Reed family and the Wilson family. The finalists’ stories were profiled on ABC 33/40, and viewers had the opportunity to go online and vote for their favorite family. Voting ended on May 18, and the winning couple — the Reed family — was announced on May 21 on Talk of Alabama. Over the next three weeks, Marianne Strong worked closely with the Reeds to decorate their dream nursery. Since the Reeds’ home was being rebuilt after the tornados, the nursery was a clean slate. The family preferred a neutral design, so Marianne incorporated a natural rustic look with such statement pieces as a reclaimed wood dresser (also used as a changing table), large iron letters on the wall, an overhead barrel light, local art and wallpaper on the ceiling. The Reed’s crib and whimsical bedding, both given to the family by Pottery Barn Kids as part of the contest, were also a focal point of the room. The final nursery was revealed live on Talk of Alabama June 8.

“I love to give back. As soon as I met the Reeds I knew they would be so much fun and great to work with. I was so honored St. Vincent’s asked me to be a part of this,” Marianne Strong says.

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