Renovating, revitalizing, and turning the historic Sunbright Manor into the Sunbright Inn was an extensive endeavor, led by owner Patrick O’Neill. Facing significant structural challenges, the renovation team tackled issues such as rot, foundation problems, and fire damage from the 1930s. The restoration involved meticulous attention to detail, with O’Neill emphasizing the importance of marrying historical authenticity with modern comforts.

More about the Renovation of our DeFuniak Springs Accommodations

The renovations were led by Patrick with help from the Campbells, while the Rushing family renovated the exterior and interior of the home (Paul Rushing Construction). The efforts encountered unexpected obstacles, including a longer timeline and higher costs than initially anticipated. Despite this, the renovation remained committed to preserving Sunbright Manor’s rich heritage.

Once completed, the project marked the transformation from a historic but decrepit mansion to stylish, DeFuniak Springs accommodations. A stay at Sunbright Inn offers guests an authentic experience steeped in local history, yet complete with modern amenities.

Enjoy this gallery of photos from the process:

Renovations include independent air conditioning circulation and thermostats in the rooms, sound insulation, and electric fireplaces with vintage mantles. You’ll also find Victorian era furniture and hickory hardwood flooring.  Other renovations include a new foundation, updates to meet hurricane codes and ADA compatibility, automated fire suppression, underground stormwater storage, security, and wireless door locks.

There were also efforts to restore much of the house to its original exterior design. This included moving the entrance door back to the east and restoring the cresting and porches. As the oldest house in the county and the first with indoor electricity and plumbing, it’s now modernized for the next 100 years.

Thank you to the hundreds who have watched our progress and come to tours at Sunbright Inn! We appreciate your kind words and the time you spent with us seeing the house. We are grateful for and would like to thank:

  • Paul Rushing Construction. Especially Bubba & George who labored endlessly and meticulously. Family pictured above.
  • Bruce Naylor for showing us the property and lifting up this project
  • The Community of DeFuniak Springs for their overwhelming support and acceptance.
  • The Campbell family who helped with design and labor and will manage the Inn.
  • For Paul’s many subcontractors who provided their skills to make this house incredible and Emerald Air, Seaview Glass & Mirror, 30A Wallpaper and so many more.
  • Annette Taunton for the Magnolia painting.
  • Ashley & Todd Vannoy for the fox hunt paintings.
  • That no one was hurt on this job over 27 months.
  • Most of all, God, for the direction in Providence for the countless details that could not have come together with Him.