Shawn and Tonya Cool are known throughout the area for having quite a bit on their plate. Shawn works a full-time job, Tonya owns and operates Reflections Salon and Spa in downtown Williamson, both are involved in community work, and both love to share their DIY projects and tips with others around the area. The pair has brought a lot of ideas and projects to the Williamson area. In the summer of 2021, Shawn had an idea for a new project: building a rental cottage.
“I asked Tonya if she would like to build a cottage on our property, and just make it a place we would love if we were looking for a place to stay,” he says. “I started drawing different layouts, and we started the project that summer.” Red Dog Cottage, as it is now called, opened for rental on April 1, 2022.
An Unforgettable Experience
Red Dog Cottage is designed to be an unforgettable experience, no matter who you are– family, romantic pair, or even if you’re traveling solo. According to Tonya, it’s designed to be a place where you can “relax, clear your mind, enjoy quality time together, and, most importantly, feel at home.”
Red Dog Cottage has plenty of unique and beautiful attributes built by the Cools themselves, including a 30 foot walking bridge to the entrance, a wrap-around covered front porch and back porch, and a spiral staircase leading to the loft. Shawn even added a loft hammock, which is 10 feet from the floor. “Tonya is scared of heights, so it took her a while to try it out, but she loves it now,” Shawn says.”
The backyard is totally isolated from everything else, so they have an outdoor hammock as well, as well as an outdoor shower. “The reason for the outdoor shower is just, ‘how many people have ever taken a shower outdoors?’” Shawn says. “I know we hadn’t, so we felt like it would just add to the experience when you stay here.” The cottage has a full kitchen, dining and living room, downstairs bedroom, loft bedroom, and a full bath with a walk-in shower.
Curious about where the name comes in? “Everyone wants to know where the name came from,” Shawn says. “When we built our barn, one of our dogs, a red golden retriever named Watson James, loved spending time with us while we were working. Tonya always said he is just a big red dog. We wanted a name for the barn, so I told her that we ought to have ‘Red Dog Barn.' From there, the name just applied to the cottage as well.”
All photos from Red Dog Cottage Facebook