Dunn & Sonnier: Antiques and Florals on Magazine Street

Stephen Sonnier, owner of Dunn & Sonnier

Dunn & Sonnier is best known for exceptional florals, but this Magazine Street staple first put down its roots as an antiques store 40 years ago. With treasures layered throughout 11 rooms in the beautiful center hall cottage, it has always been on the must-visit list for antiquers on New Orleans shopping trips, a favorite haunt of decorators and in-the-know home shoppers. We spoke with owner Stephen Sonnier to learn more about the antiques side of his business and to hear how it feels to celebrate 40 years of owning a small business. This is what he shared:

Tell us about starting your business.

When we first started in 1984 in Houston, we were just an antiques store. In 1991, we delivered antique piece from our Houston shop to a client in New Orleans. We fell in love with the city, relocated, and opened Dunn & Sonnier. We added flowers in 2000, and in 2004/2005 we added gifts. Roy Dunn, my late husband/business partner, always loved the antiques part of the business and got me into it. It’s part of his legacy that’s living on, and yet it’s something I’m passionate about.

Where do you source your antiques?

I import most items from Italy: chandeliers, most of the furniture. I buy at estate auctions and estate sales, and I have pickers. I’ve always felt I have good sources who know what I like and will send me pictures to make selections. Also, I have a friend who lives in Italy and does estate sales throughout the country and especially around Milan. She’ll go into a house and send me a large number of photos for me to choose from.

What antiques will people find in your shop?

We have a wide variety of items, but some call us an “accessory emporium” because we offer many unique elements that provide finishing touches in a space. One of our great clients is an interior designer, and she says she loves being able to shop in person for those one-of-a-kind pieces. We carry a lot of vintage and antique accessories and found objects you won’t see everywhere else.

You have had a long and successful career in New Orleans. What sets Dunn & Sonnier apart?

We are definitely about service. On the floral side as well as antiques, we aim to provide wonderful service. We are happy to move or rearrange items in the shop so you can get a better look at something. If you’re on the hunt for a particular item, we can show you the items that match what you’re looking for.

How does it feel to celebrate 40 years as a small business owner?

I still love this business. I have a passion for the florals, for the antique business, for a lot of the tole pieces, and I love chandeliers. In my head there’s always a story playing of what I’m doing, and I don’t know how to make other people understand that story, but I’m fortunate if they come in and give us the opportunity to serve them.


You’re invited to celebrate 40 years of Dunn & Sonnier with a book signing of Bohemian Soul by Valorie Hart & Sara Essex Bradley. Bohemian Soul features the beautiful home of Stephen Sonnier. Join us at Dunn & Sonnier on May 1st, 2024 from 5-7 PM to celebrate.

Stephen Sonnier, photographed in his home for The Scout Guide New Orleans Volume 11

Dunn & Sonnier is a destination for flowers, antiques and gifts located on historic Magazine Street. If you’re planning an antiquing trip in New Orleans, check out the Home section of our shopping guide and chart your route with our interactive map of all the Scouted local businesses. Don’t forget to tell them Scout sent you!