6 Brilliant Retaining Wall Ideas

February 13, 2023
retaining wall ideas

Key takeaways:

  • A retaining wall is necessary for uneven terrain and can also serve as a decorative landscaping element.
  • The article provides various ideas for retaining walls including decorative blockwork, patchwork stone, natural stone, sandstone, built-in steps and steel retaining walls.
  • Choosing the right material and incorporating other features such as integrated stairs can greatly enhance the aesthetic appeal of a retaining wall.

If you’re looking for retaining wall ideas, it’s probable that the area around your home has uneven terrain. While their main job is to keep soil or dirt from moving, retaining walls can also function as a decorative landscaping element to create private outdoor spaces.

These structures, usually made of stone or concrete blocks, are a practical part of landscaping and make the area look better. You can make the most of your outdoor space with the help of these retaining wall ideas, whether you want to improve on an existing retaining wall in your backyard or build a new one.

So if you want new retaining wall ideas, this is the article for you. We’ve gathered some of the best ideas for retaining walls you haven’t thought of yet.

Decorative block-work

Image credit: Land8

This retaining wall, which is made of a pattern of identical bricks, is built with careful attention to detail. You could easily mistake the result for something from the far future, along with flying cars and robots.

The wall is an interesting architectural feature in and of itself, but because it is repeating, it works well as a landscape background. The design there can work on a large scale but would also look great on a small retaining wall.

Patchwork stone

Image credit: Stone Solutions

The way this retaining wall is put together is reminiscent of a patchwork blanket that your grandma knits with love. This is because of the limited palette of block colours used.

The coloured wall blocks are not intentionally arranged in any particular way to make the room feel more casual and friendly. These bricks’ softly rounded edges give the impression of a warm and comfortable home. Conversely, sharper-edged bricks would give the impression of a cold and unwelcoming building.

One way to give your property a unified look is to build retaining walls that match the style of your house.

Natural stone walls

Image credit: Natural Stone Wall Solutions

Retaining walls made of natural stones are beautiful and last a long time, but they can cost more than a wooden fence or wood retaining walls. You can make these natural materials look modern by “placing, patterning, and repeating” them. Granite and limestone are two types of stone suitable for creating a classic look.

Dryset stone retaining walls can appear to be nothing more than a random collection of large boulders thrown together. But don’t let their external appearance fool you. Even though these buildings don’t have any mortar, that doesn’t make them any less firm.

Building a stone wall to hold back the soil is not hard. They employ gravel instead of mortar, which can crack and fall apart over time, to hold the stones together. This makes the walls stronger and less likely to need repairs.


This pale retaining wall of uniform sandstone blocks makes the building look modern while still looking classic and timeless. It looks classy and rich without being showy or fussy.

Since these sandstone bricks are so expensive to buy, you can expect a large retaining wall to cost a lot of money if this is the look you want. But if you put a high value on quality building materials and durability, a retaining wall made of this all-natural brick will last for generations.

Built-in steps

You can make your plain concrete retaining wall look more artistic by adding a stone staircase to it. These steps will help add some style to a boring retaining wall.

They also make the area as useful as possible by making it easy to get to the raised platform made by the retaining wall. With the help of steps that connect your high and low levels, the difference between them will be less obvious.

Steel retaining walls

retaining wall ideas

You can’t spell rustic without rust. The rusty colour of steel used in retaining walls gives a project a unique look and can add a welcome splash of colour to a landscape. 

With steel barns and tractors, this landscaping idea looks like it could be in a rural or agricultural area. You can even hang some bright flowers on them to improve the aesthetic. So, steel retaining walls can be a good choice and a welcome alternative to boulder walls.

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