Examples of Retaining Wall Design

Homeowners contemplating garden enhancements in the form of retaining walls should also be acquainted with the subject of retaining wall design. Retaining walls are essentially a functional addition to the outdoors. However, they form a significant part of the external landscape and should have a basic aesthetic appeal. Some easy-to-adopt retaining wall design ideas have been listed below:

Example 1— Retaining Wall Designs using Retaining Blocks

Retaining blocks are among the easiest of constructional elements used for building retaining walls. They are composed of a light form of concrete that is further blended with aggregates to make the blocks sturdier. Retaining wall blocks are recommended for homeowners planning low-lying retaining walls in the yard. Retaining wall blocks can be designed from a decorative perspective in the following manner:

  • Interlocking Retaining Block Walls - This design lends a very compact look to the retaining wall that is needed for smaller yards. This is because conventionally-designed retaining walls can appear overwhelming in smaller spaces. Further, the use of interlocking design means a decreased dependence on mortar—a definite cost-saver.

  • Stair-like Retaining Block Walls - Retaining wall blocks can be manipulated to render a stair-like or tiered appearance to the wall. This design should be considered for sloped yards since the tiered appearance of the wall tends to neutralize the excessive slanting that can spoil the aesthetics of a home’s outdoors. Further, the tiered system of arranging the blocks helps to decrease the pressure induced by water (in sub-soil) on the walls.

Example 2—Casual-looking Retaining Wall Designs

If the yard/garden is already embellished with elements having defined borders, slightly casual-looking designs are recommended. Such designs help to neutralize the rigid appearance of such structured outdoors. Some recommendable options include:

  • Tumbled Stone Walls - Tumbled stones are preferred for their soft/rounded edges. They can be arranged in various patterns and shapes for creating a slightly uneven look. Tumbled stones are usually ordered in a mix of high-gloss and dull stones that are combined without any definite pattern to create informal designs. Further, tumbled stones can be adorned with colored capping stones.
  • Faux Stone Wall - Faux stone retaining walls are created by adorning a simple, cinder block retaining wall with faux stones. The faux front of the walls takes care of the decorative needs. Faux stones can be ordered across an exhaustive range of designs and colors. Choices also include faux stone finishes in the form of pebble, stone or brick finish.

Example 3—Structured Retaining Walls with Enhanced Borders

If your outdoor space needs a certain degree of bordering or an organized look, establishing retaining walls with defined borders is recommended. The most preferred option for creating retaining wall borders is decorative bricks. These bricks are retailed in varying colors and patterns. Apart from defining the border of the retaining walls, they also help to modify its overall shape to a certain extent. For instance, slightly curved decorative brick borders can be used to alter the contours of square-shaped retaining walls.

A recommended idea in this niche is to use decorative brick borders along a retaining wall made from natural stone blocks. Using unpolished natural stones with coarse surfaces is recommended. While the natural stones render a very earthy appearance to the walls, the decorative borders establish a contrasting, formal-looking design element.