Terrain, part of a stylish Westport family

Terrain is a “sister store” to Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters, so you know there’s something aesthetically pleasing – and eco-minded – going on here. Westport’s lucky enough to have these three URBN siblings within its borders, and we spotlight what’s on offer at Terrain, the “baby,” these days.

There’s a pretty stylish family calling Westport home.

In fact, three of the URBN siblings reside within the tony town along the Saugatuck River.

The older sisters — play along with us — are Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, but WAG decided to check in with the family’s youngest as it heads into the holiday season.

Terrain joined the URBN family — with roots in the 1970s — in 2008, the original in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania. It’s expanded to include today an additional Terrain store in Pennsylvania, several in California and the one in Westport.

Terrain, you might think, thrives in the warmer months. After all, it’s a garden center of sorts, billed on the URBN site as “a garden, home and outdoor lifestyle brand deeply rooted in nature and plant life.”

It’s in that creative interpretation of garden center, though, that Terrain comes into its own.

Lauren Aber, store manager of the Westport Terrain, has been with the store — more an artsy warehouse with soaring ceilings and plenty of light — since its opening in May of 2012.

“I moved here from Atlanta,” Aber tells us, to open the store and has been there since.

It’s been steady progress since the opening.

“We’ve had a lot of changes,” she says. “Inside the store, we completely change the footprint about twice a year. Outside, we continually add on parking.”

An additional parcel, she says, will soon ease the always-busy parking lot.

“The thing I’m most excited about is we’re a display garden,” she says, with more showcases planned down the line.


The store offers a welcoming indoor/outdoor environment, where you can pick up everything from a houseplant to an artful scarf, some premium olive oil to a delicate necklace. In between, there are books and home goods, kitchen tools and pampering products. And that’s not to mention the offerings of the Terrain Garden Café, a bustling area that adds a real vibrancy to the surroundings.

Aber says at Terrain there’s an appreciation for plants and flowers in all stages, not just full bloom, which means there is something for every season.

A lot of customers are indeed gardeners, but she notes, “It’s broader though. We have plenty of people who say, ‘I’m not a gardener. I don’t have a green thumb.’”

Her reply? “There’s a plant for everyone out there.”

It can be elaborate — or the simplest touch.

“You can have herbs on your kitchen windowsill. There’s a place for plants in every room of your home.”

Aber notes customers are always on the lookout for something new.

“We do have a large group of designers or people who change out their rooms often.”

Creating atmosphere is key to the ever-changing décor.

“Lighting is something that’s really important to us,” she adds, mentioning string lights and a new lantern design.

This time of year she says, “it’s all about” people getting cozy, with fire pits and such.


An annual treat, locals and visitors alike have come to know, is visiting Terrain during the holiday season — and this year will be no different.

“It’s just going to be just beautiful, lush,” Aber says, as the transition is just getting underway. “Holiday is what we do best, hands down. It takes us at least four weeks to do everything we do for holiday.”

With countless hanging displays complementing items at eye level, it’s all about, Aber says, “layer upon layer.”

A classic touch comes from clear glass ornaments that can be filled with sprigs of greenery, as battery-powered light adds a delicate sparkle.

“We use those on mantels or tabletops or nestled into greens,” she says.

An understated approach is a bit of a trademark at Terrain.

“With us, our color palette is always fairly muted,” Aber adds.

And that extends to the wreaths, a perennial favorite.

“Wreaths are something that we also keep our eyes on,” she says. “We always look at our wreaths as something you can build on.”

For most every design, she adds, “We look to nature.”

Aber says the look often encompasses a mix, though, perhaps accenting a gilded tabletop item with natural finds. In another example, oak-leaf verdigris pieces would “weave in dry grasses.”

“Not everything has to be bought from a store,” she adds. “For us, we kind of focus on, we always say, ‘high and low.’”

But, she adds, there is a theme running throughout.

“Color and texture in foliage is something that’s always been important to us.”

Terrain offers special events and workshops that put design in focus.

 “We have a mantel design workshop that sells out every year,” she says, noting that the shop has also expanded its selection of dried and faux flowers. “We do faux really well.”


This autumn — and right through the holiday season — Aber says Terrain is proud to launch its first book, published in October to mark Terrain’s 10th anniversary.

An in-store event set for Nov. 1 will celebrate the publication of “Terrain: Ideas and Inspiration for Decorating the Home and Garden,” edited by creative director Greg Lehmkuhl and the community of garden and design experts  (Artisan, 400 pages, $35).

“We’re super-excited about it,” she says. “It kind of feels like ‘Here we are’ to the world.”

Set up by season, Aber notes, “Each chapter focuses on things you can make and create in your own space.”

And in Westport, space is about family for Terrain, as Aber says having the store’s “siblings” nearby is a bonus.

“We have a great relationship with Anthropologie,” she says, noting its staffers often use the Terrain café for meetings.

“We partner with them from everything to employees and events. They did a home-design event down in the courtyard,” she says, with Terrain customizing container gardens to add atmosphere.

The collaboration, she says, “was great to see.”

After all, it’s always nice for family to visit each other, especially for the holidays.

Terrain is at 561 Post Road East in Westport. Terrain will host a Book Launch Party from 7 to 9 p.m. Nov. 1 and welcome the season with its Holiday Open House from noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 17. For more, visit shopterrain.com.

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