Who Is Ty Pennington's Fiancée? 5 Things to Know About Kellee Merrell
Ty Pennington is ready to tie the knot!
The HGTV star, 56, proposed to his girlfriend, Kellee Merrell, sharing the news on his Instagram on Wednesday. "It's the 'yes' for me…," he wrote alongside a photo of Merrell, 33, wearing her sparkling engagement ring.
A rep for Pennington confirmed the news to PEOPLE, sharing that the home improvement star popped the question on the dock of his Palm, Coast, Florida, home while the two were having morning coffee.
The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Trading Spaces alum had previously kept his relationship with Merrell mostly out of the spotlight. In June, he shared a photo of her on Instagram, posting a snap of the two in celebration of Merrell's birthday.
"Thank you ...Universe ...for creating this amazing human... who somehow tolerates me ...even tho I'm beginning to look like papa smurf after a Willie Nelson," he wrote in the caption.
Who is Kellee Merrell? Here are five facts to know about Pennington's new fiancée.
1. She works as a social media manager.
While Pennington is known as a carpenter and home improvement pro on several shows, including his new HGTV series Ty Breaker, his new fiancée is in a very different line of work. Merrell is a social media manager, Pennington's rep confirms to PEOPLE, a role that typically involves managing a brand's presence on social platforms.
Still, you won't find her on Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok — Pennington never tags his bride-to-be in photos on his own Instagram, and she doesn't appear to have any active public social media accounts.
2. She's originally from Vancouver, Canada
Merrell hails from the city of Vancouver, Canada, a popular filming location for shows and movies. Merrell and Pennington first met in another Canadian city: Toronto. The couple was introduced while Pennington was shooting a TV show, but didn't start dating until much later.
3. She met her fiancé over a decade ago
Pennington and Merrell first met back in 2010, but they didn't strike up a romance until later. They stayed connected through the years thanks to mutual friends and in early 2020, the pair reconnected.
"I have admired Kellee from afar for years. She's a beautiful person inside and out," Pennington told PEOPLE.
4. She and Pennington were quarantined together during the pandemic
Pennington and Merrell spun a tough year into an opportunity to bond, making the decision to quarantine together at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and using it as a chance to take their relationship even further.
"Luckily our paths finally crossed at the right time. It's one of those things where you just feel happy being around a person," Pennington says. "I never thought I would get married, but she changed that. Glad I waited for the one."
5. She and Pennington are working on their dream home together
The couple has big plans for their next place. While Pennington proposed to Merrell at his Florida home, the two are currently working on their "dream home" in Savannah, Georgia.
The newly engaged couple purchased the 19th-century house together and will renovate the space. Pennington's rep told PEOPLE they're thrilled to begin their life together.