When sprucing up an outdoor area, we’re used to the typical landscaping – cleaning up brush, potting plants, adding a bush or vegetable garden here and there. In larger landscaping projects, however, sometimes lawns can become multifaceted depending on the space.
In most cases, adding or utilizing a retaining wall is necessary to hold soil and rain runoff back, but they can also add depth and deeper intrigue to an outdoor space.
Whether you absolutely need to utilize an existing retainer wall or are thinking of adding one for a sunk-in courtyard, we’ve rounded up some great ideas on how to incorporate a wall design to your space that is gorgeous and relatively easy to maintain.
Concrete Retaining Wall Ideas and Designs
1. Entwined Brick
Concrete retaining wall designs don’t have to be one color. In this unique design, neutral gray and brown stones entwine for an eye-catching layout. Pairing neutral-toned bricks like these together can add interesting depth and texture to any outdoor area, especially if they happen to match a tiled garden floor, as pictured. It’s an easy way to “decorate” a wall without making it too apparent that it is there. It naturally meshes with the landscape wall and décor.
2. Overlapping Stones
Here’s one of the more interesting brick wall design ideas that we came across – it’s simple yet complex. Having the stones overlap to show “pockets” of shadows is a great way to add a new concept to an old wall. It would look great if you have a larger wall space to cover since the more shadow pockets, the better with this particular design. This concept would really make your house stand out in any neighborhood.
3. Concrete Planter Boxes
When it comes to retaining wall landscaping, this concept is unique in that it calls for regular garden planter boxes. Again, with the “shadow” effect, this wall creates those great pockets of shadows that just make the whole wall look incredible. Since any home improvement store should carry these types of planter boxes, you can find a design, color, and shape that would suit your needs perfectly and match any of the décors you have.
4. Interlocking Blocks
Are you looking for block wall ideas? This design is super neat when it comes to cool retaining walls. The design calls for interlocking blocks to complete the wall. Outside of the normal brick or planter box concept, these blocks are cylindrical shaped and add so much depth to the whole concept. You can choose any type of shape you like, but these cylindrical blocks are incredibly unique for that artsy garden concept you may be wanting to achieve.
5. Concrete Block Retaining Wall
Here’s a gorgeous design using concrete blocks. Massive concrete blocks, that is. If you’re browsing through any cinder block wall ideas, this one may be the design to stop at. The blocks are neutral grey but huge and textured to add interesting character and depth to any garden space. The stone steps cut into the massive blocks look almost like a fairy tale scene in the woods. It is a great idea for a summer getaway home or lodge in the mountains.
6. Instructional Video for Retaining Walls
If you’re looking for any DIY retaining wall ideas, here’s a nifty video explaining just how to do it! Filled with plenty of advice and examples, this short video will set you up with all the right materials needed for the project and offer a few insights and options to achieve your ideal retainer wall design. This video breaks down the entire process and makes it seem easy enough. Take the advice given in the video and use it to create your interesting design!
7. Stacked Retaining Walls
Stop here if you’re looking for any garden retaining wall ideas! It is a great short retainer wall stacked concept that offers so much depth to the outdoor space. The walls are so short that you wouldn’t even need a whole lot of material to get the job done. You could even make this an easy garden layout and plant different types of flowers or plants in each tier of the garden. The wall design would make the design look polished and clean.
8. Jagged Rock Wall
Are you looking for rock wall landscaping or small retaining wall ideas? One of the most unique rock retaining wall ideas – this design utilizes jagged textured slabs of rock to create a wall picturesque enough to be in a garden magazine! The slabs of stone or concrete make the viewer believe that the wall is actually comprised of a bunch of roughly cut rocks instead of clean slabs of textured stone. Not only is it pleasing to the eye, but it’s so easy to install since the slabs have done all the work for you!
Wooden Retaining Wall Ideas
1. Retaining Wall With Wooden Barrier
While searching through wood retaining wall ideas, this particular design stood out. Not only is it your classic stone retainer wall, but this design has a wooden fence to act as an added barrier. Not that the fence would do a rock or landslide much justice, but the design is what’s truly unique about this setup. Something about mixing the concrete or stone wall with wood gives this an interesting feel and adds a lot without taking away from the wall.
2. Grass, Timber, and Stone
An interesting concept to these retaining wall landscaping ideas, this photo has grass, timber, and stone all in one! Make your own artistic masterpiece by combining all these elements to create a small retaining wall that will encompass nature. The wooden retaining wall is short and made of timber, which cleanly separates the grass and rocks. It would be perfect for a small outdoor garden area or backyard courtyard where guests can sit and enjoy the scenery.
3. Plywood Fence Wall
There are plenty of inexpensive retaining wall ideas out there, but this handy article gives you all the materials and steps you’d need to execute it! You can easily make this your design by adhering to these simple, basic tips. If keeping the natural wood look isn’t what you’re going for, you could easily paint the plywood to match your décor. Plywood is also relatively cheap to buy, and you can find it in any lumber yard or home improvement store.
4. Wooden Retaining Fence
This article is full of garden retaining wall ideas that mostly feature using timber or wood. Since wood is more natural, it will more than likely match any type of décor in the backyard area or garden. One of the photos featured in the article depicts wide panels for a fence that is not unique and incredibly beautiful. Take some of these ideas into consideration before planning out your wooden retaining fence.t
5. Timber Wall
This article features several stone and timber retaining wall pictures that you could easily add to your outdoor area or courtyard garden. The third photo features a tiered wall of stained timber that not only adds intrigue to the space but just looks amazing, too. The two tiers with beautifully selected plants create an interesting wall that will no doubt be admired by anyone who sets their eyes on it. It would look great in the backyard, possibly around a garden space for a view to be enjoyed while relaxing in your own private space.
6. Backyard Garden Option
Skimming through backyard retaining wall ideas, these photos also use wood as the main material for retaining fences. These ideas would be great for a backyard garden or courtyard area – especially if the scene was set in the woods. Of course, this is not a requirement, but how great would it be to be snuggled around a fire with loved ones in the middle of nowhere in a gorgeously landscaped outdoor area?
7. Vertical Railway Sleepers
Here is a picture of a retainer wall with sleepers. The clean wall cuts across the lawn in clear cuts. The wood against the green of the freshly cut grass is not only gorgeous, but it’s delightful to look at. Add a retaining wall with sleepers to your backyard space, or front yard area, for a clean, polished look that all your guests would love. It is a great design concept for all types of outdoor areas, no matter the size.
8. Panel Wall
This image and article depict a wide wooden wall used as a retaining fence. The sunken garden area is beautiful, as the large panel wooden wall cuts the outline of everything in the background. It’s a gorgeous layout that is so different from typical retainer walls. The larger spans of it really add a degree of height and art. Pair this with a few interesting statues or lawn furniture, and your next party awaits!
Rock and Stone Retaining Wall Ideas
1. Minimalist Concept
Here’s a great concept when searching for retaining wall ideas for a sloped backyard. The natural rocks may seem like they were just there by chance, but the rocks actually serve as a pretty great wall. The larger stones compared to the smaller rocks at the bottom make the whole scene look rugged and natural. It is a perfect décor concept for a minimalist or someone who doesn’t like too many frills outside.
2. Natural Stone Wall
Here is a great example of lake retaining wall ideas. This property set by a lake is circled by a stone wall. It adds interesting depth, texture, and landscape, especially when set right next to the beautiful lake behind it. It is a great way to use nature to your advantage and decorate a sidewall with natural stone.
3. Kaleidoscope of Color
This large stone retaining wall circles the outside of this incredibly beautiful house. The whole scene is gorgeous, and the colors meld effortlessly against the gray sky. The green of the grass, grey of the stone, and brilliant purple of the tree next to the estate all add to the great kaleidoscope of color this scene encompasses. It is proof that a retaining concept can be more than just a wall outside a property.
4. Edged Path
This wall snakes alongside a great walking trail in the middle of nature. The pale stones outline the trail, which is even great at night. Since the stone is pale, the moonlight would reflect off the stone and create a great path for nightwalkers or people who prefer not to walk in the heat of the day. It is a gorgeous path idea that would be suitable for any outdoor space that is longer or a wall that needs sprucing up.
5. Shapes and Lines
This wall idea is an artist’s dream! With so much texture, shape, and lines, the wall is practically an art piece on its own. To make it even more interesting, incorporate varying colors of stone to create a mosaic masterpiece that would naturally be eye-catching. The grout between the stones could also be changed – either lighter or darker colors could be used to make this great concept your very own masterpiece.
6. Double Wall
Looking for garden wall ideas? This great idea calls for the main retainer wall, but the planter is also a retaining design of sorts. The varying stones that cut away from each other add depth and texture to the scene. The planter box acts as its retaining wall made of stone and is completely different from the retainer wall in the back. Placing a smaller retainer wall planter box in front of the main wall is a great idea with so many possibilities.
7. Colorful Stone
This interesting wall features thinly cut, stacked colorful stone. It’s a great idea for a shorter wall concept or even a smaller wall that you’re trying to build around a planter. The stacked stone adds so much texture and color to the scene, it’s amazing there aren’t more ideas that include this type of stone. I could see this idea in an artistic garden compete with the relaxing sounds of a water feature babbling in the background.
8. Carousel Stone
These crescent-shaped retaining wall ideas almost act like a carousel, circling along the wall and creating a concept that is gorgeous and unique. It looks as if these walls could act as planters on their own. You could most certainly use this textured concept purely for an area with many plants or even a rock garden. The possibilities are endless with this idea, and by adding more color into the scene you could construct an outdoor area completely your own.
9. Congruent Shapes
It is a great retaining type wall idea that holds within incongruent shapes. The vintage feel of the subdued colors of the stone makes this an interesting trail to walk along. You could easily create your custom mosaic designs by using cut stone set in larger pieces. It is a great way to give your outdoor area plenty of personality without bogging it down by repetition. This stone seems to be a bit on the thicker side, but you can easily use any width of stone for the project.w
10. Wrought Iron Fence on Stone Wall
There are many designs when searching for retaining wall ideas for a hill, but one of the most elegant images includes a wrought iron fence standing tall above a great stone wall. Everything about this layout is great – from the house set in the back to the luscious ferns spilling out over the wall. Using a retaining wall as a planter, of sorts, is always a great idea because it’s a great way to polish up nature.
11. Traditional Landscape
This layout seems to be more on the traditional side. The home seems old-fashioned, but not outdated. The gorgeous woodcuts across the sky, and you can’t help but notice that great stone retaining wall across the edges. There is something with the incorporation of stone and wood that makes a home look classy and put together. It would be a great idea for a home in the woods or a summer getaway in the trees.
12. Stone Art
It is a beautiful retainer wall that tells a story, it seems. There is a lion sun and trees in one great wall that holds a picture. You could easily start a project like this or add to an existing wall by cementing or gluing colored bits of rock and stone to create your rustic masterpiece. I would imagine this would be a great project for a family with kids that tries to stay true to traditions.
13. Stone Steps
When browsing through retaining walls with steps ideas, you’ll come across everything from elegant design to rustic beauty. This photo, for example, could be considered elegant due to the cut, texture, and color of the stone. I could only imagine how gorgeous the patio the stairs lead up to would be. You can create a retaining wall to line stairs like this and completely make the space your own. The colored flowers along each side are bonuses to this great layout.
14. Thick Barrier Wall
This thick barrier wall is the top of a retainer wall made completely of dark stone. The variation of tone and color make this wall so interesting to look at, and it comes completely customizable since you can virtually find all colors of stone out there these days. The way the top of this wall snakes across the garden scene makes the yard seem more put together and clean. Add some flowering plants and trees to the sides of the wall, and you have a custom, beautiful garden.
15. Large and Small Stones
This is a great layout that features both large and smaller stones to create an absolutely gorgeous retainer wall! Not only beautiful, but this concept is so unique in design. I love the idea of starting a wall with large stones and filling in the gaps with smaller stones. To make this idea more fun, use varying colors of stones to create a gorgeous outdoor art masterpiece. Again, this would also be a fun project for families with kids.m
16. Multi-Tiered Retaining Wall
Here’s a great idea for a tiered retaining wall made of stone bricks. The rounded bricks almost look old – as if they were the same bricks used to cobble a street way back when. When using stone bricks such as these for retaining wall designs, it’s easy to spruce up the front yard or back garden. Add your favorite shrubs or flowering plants for a gorgeous garden area come spring.