Ty Pennington is known as the ruggedly handsome carpenter on Trading Spaces, the DIY show that sparked the inner designer in fans around the world.
After 20 years of being on TV, fans are now suggesting the DIY TV personality get a makeover of his own.
Born Gary Tygert Burton, Pennington, now 58, is a shameless jokester who loves performing for Instagram, frequently posting comical videos of his mad (bad) dance moves, many of them his new wife can be heard giggling in the background.
Pennington, the self-proclaimed jack-of-all trades, is a born entertainer. A former model, who was once the face of J-Crew, said he planned on being a graphic designer and worked in construction to pay the bills while he was in art school.
After a near-fatal car accident, when he was 27, killed his modeling career, he took it as a sign to shift into carpentry.
“Overnight my career seemed to explode… but alas, fate had other plans. Only one week later I would be in a horrible car accident,” Pennington writes. “I hung up my one decent head shot, picked up my trusty tool bag and went back to construction and carpentry. 9 years later I would get a call to audition for Trading Spaces… and the rest is history.”
Pennington was introduced to Hollywood as a set designer for the 1995 film Leaving Las Vegas, starring Nicholas Cage. But it was his role as a builder on Trading Spaces–the show that disrupted conventional concepts of home renovations–that launched him into stardom.
When he left Trading Spaces, Pennington went on to host Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2003 to 2012), which earned him two Primetime Emmy Awards.
Replaced by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the star of Modern Family, who hosted the show in its 11th season, and for 10 episodes of the show’s revival in 2020, Pennington writes on his Instagram, “Not gonna lie, my ego took a huge punch to the gut. It stung. And it left me SO confused. I began doubting my talent, my experience and my overall belief in myself. But the job was never about me! … Honestly, it WAS and always will be, one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.”
But it wasn’t the end for Pennington’s career, he “dusted” himself off, “strapped on” his boots and returned for two seasons of to the Trading Spaces revival (2018 to 2019).
Currently, Pennington appears as a mentor and design expert on HGTV’s Battle on the Beach, now in its third season, and as host on the show Rock the Block, in its fourth season.
He also authored two books, “Good Design Can Change Your Life: Beautiful Rooms, Inspiring Stories,” and “Ty’s Tricks: Home Repair Secrets Plus Cheap and Easy Projects to Transform Any Room.”
Pennington is also open about his ADHD and campaigns to bring awareness to the disorder that affects behavior.
And in 2007, when he was 41, he was charged on a DUI and placed on three years’ probation along with a 90-day alcohol program.
“Drinking and driving is never acceptable. I have pleaded no contest and will abide by the court’s ruling. I hope this experience can help others as much as it has helped me,” he said in a statement.
In November 2021, the charming builder married Kellee Merrell, a Vancouver social media manager, whom he frequently entertains with his daily antics.
Last year, after posting a hilarious video of him on the beach, his shorts spiked up to his stomach, some fans took the opportunity to slam the seemingly large keg that’s replaced his once sculpted six pack, to which he said, “…btw I’m pushing my stomach out but ok…”
The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition alum, who’s still a gorgeous man, was struck by disparaging comments on his age and appearance.
In a lengthy Instagram post, titled “Thoughts on aging,” Pennington addressed the criticisms, reminding people to practice social graces toward both men and women.
He wrote: “What was an honest moment of just trying to make my wife laugh, was then picked apart by strangers- with a lot of views, comes a lot of hate! Comments like “disgusting,” “gross,” “omg he’s so old now,” “grandpa,” “he got fat…And I wondered, if I was still young and fit, would I be getting the same comments?” He continued, “There has been such a force behind accepting all shapes and sizes and aging in the female community which is AWESOME (keep it coming) but maybe let’s give that same grace to men?”
Pennington, a fan favorite on TLC’s Trading Spaces, pointed out that he was decades younger when he first appeared on television.
“On a daily basis Im inundated with comments like ‘NOOOo what happened to him???!!!’ Someone even commented the other day, ‘lack of exercise’ which I wish was the truth! I have NEVER worked out harder in my life-7 days a week (this over 50 sh*t is no joke ). “What happened” is, it’s been 22 YEARS since I made my television debut! “ he wrote. “No, I don’t have a six pack anymore or a luscious head of hair (with frosted tips ) but what I do have is wisdom, empathy, life lessons and at 57 years old, I’ve TRULY never been happier! Anyways, all this to say: I’m human and I have feelings. Yes, I am older but I think it’s pretty cool.”
We think Ty Pennington is still hot and we love watching his silly Instagram videos. What is your favorite show with Pennington? And did you catch the DIY bug after watching Trading Spaces?