HGTV's Ty Pennington Is Engaged to Kellee Merrell: 'Glad I Waited for the One'
HGTV star Ty Pennington has his sights set on forever with his new fiancée.
The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Trading Spaces alum, 56, who currently stars in the HGTV show, Ty Breaker, revealed on Wednesday that he proposed to his girlfriend, Kellee Merrell, 33 — and she said yes!
"It's the 'yes' for me…" he captioned a photo on Instagram of his fiancée's hand donning a teardrop-shaped stone.
A rep for Pennington tells PEOPLE that the star popped the question to Merrell — a social media manager originally from Vancouver — over morning coffee on the dock of his home in Palm Coast, Florida.
The pair met in 2010 while Pennington was filming a TV show in Toronto and have stayed connected over the years through mutual friends. They reconnected in early 2020 and decided to quarantine together, during which their relationship blossomed even further.
"I have admired Kellee from afar for years. She's a beautiful person inside and out," Pennington tells PEOPLE exclusively. "Luckily our paths finally crossed at the right time. It's one of those things where you just feel happy being around a person. I never thought I would get married, but she changed that. Glad I waited for the one."
Many of Pennington's friends from HGTV reached out to offer their congratulations, leaving sweet comments on his Instagram post.
"Awwww congrats!!!" wrote Help! I Wrecked My House star Jasmine Roth, while Taniya Nayak, who currently stars with Pennington on HGTV"s Battle on the Beach, wrote, "Wooohoooo! Smart move!! She's a keeper! Congrats you two lovebirds!"
"IM SO HAPPY FOR YOU MY FRIEND!!! Cannot wait to meet her," Pennington's Trading Spaces costar Genevieve Gorder added, while his Ty Breaker costar Sabrina Soto wrote, "What!!?? What!?! Yeah!!!!! Omg!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations!!! I'm so happy for you both!!!"
Bargain Mansions' Tamara Day, Restored by the Fords' Steve Ford, Holmes on Homes' Mike Holmes, Love It or List It Vancouver's Jillian Harris, Trading Spaces' Vern Yip and more also chimed in with their congratulations.
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Pennington and Merrell recently purchased a 19th-century house together in Savannah, Georgia, and are currently renovating it into their dream home, Pennington's rep says, adding that they're thrilled to be engaged and excited to begin their life together.
Pennington was previously in a long-term relationship with Andrea Bock.
In June, Pennington replied to a comment on one of his Instagram posts asking if he and Bock were still friends, writing: "Yes! Andrea and I actually parted ways back in 2009 and still remain great friends."
Pennington's two shows, Ty Breaker and Battle on the Beach, are airing on HGTV now.