Wednesday , 13 September 2023
Retaining Wall Ideas

Retaining Wall Ideas

inspiring retaining wall ideas

When it comes to expanding your outdoor space, the sky is the limit, but unfortunately, so are the budget requirements. And if you’re unhappy with an uneven or sloping garden, a retaining wall will instantly help you redesign your outdoor space the way you’ve always wanted it to be. A retaining wall allows you to make the most of your space and create functional areas outside of the room that was previously uneven and unusable. Not only will they help you get the most out of your outside space, but they’re also great for defining areas, adding height, and adding a special sculptural quality to your garden. Best of all, while this can be an expensive investment, it will undoubtedly increase the resale value of your home and help you enjoy your time outdoors for years to come.

From concrete to wooden retaining walls, they can be made from a variety of materials, giving you plenty of leeway to maximize your garden attractiveness. To help you come up with the best retaining wall ideas for your home, we reached out to Décor Aid’s home renovation experts to learn how to get the right look with confidence.

What is a retaining wall before we start?

Garden retaining wall ideas

A well built and sturdy retaining wall does exactly what the name suggests. It prevents dirt from moving to create a textured surface. An outdoor retaining wall is usually used to hold back soil or water. This affects the wall style and the materials you use.

You will find that retaining wall ideas are often used to create a level space above them on uneven or sloping ground. A retaining wall essentially helps you redefine your outdoor space and keep everything safe regardless of the weather if it’s well built.

Use for retaining walls

Retaining wall ideas materials

You may be wondering where and why you might need to use a retaining wall. They’re often used to terrace backyards – slopes can turn gardens into difficult spaces to use, and terracing your backyard gives you flat areas so you can make the most of the space with the security of solid ground below you.

Retaining wall ideas can also be used to create a patio or work area for the transition from the sidewalk to your house (if there is a slope) or a driveway. Retaining walls also protect your property from various weather conditions that usually shift the soil and water and eventually damage your home foundation.

What retaining wall materials are the best?

used for retaining wall ideas

As you can imagine, there are tons of different types of materials that you can use to create a retaining wall. Of course, everyone has their own set of advantages and disadvantages, and at least one thing is certain to suit your needs and your floor space.


Wood is great for cheap retaining wall ideas and is easy to get hold of. It’s inexpensive and an easier option if you’re considering a DIY retaining wall project. Ballast is all you need for the wall foundations, which simplifies the installation process. Pressure treated pines will last for years (up to 40 years), and trusted redwood can last up to 20 years. This doesn’t make them the best option if you want retaining wall ideas that could last a lifetime.


Retaining wall ideas made from concrete blocks, bricks, or stones can last a long time with proper installation and care. If you are really interested in a money saving DIY retaining wall project you might be able to do it yourself, but you will most likely need someone to install it for you as you will depend on their effectiveness and expertise. Concrete foundations are also required for such retaining wall ideas to keep them stable and secure. If you are a beginner it can be difficult to start your own business.

Poured concrete

Ideas for retaining walls made of poured concrete

Cast concrete retaining walls ideas are by far the most durable and will last the longest. With them, you also have the option to have the concrete stamped, carved, and colored to make it look more unique than regular smooth, gray concrete. You need someone to turn concrete retaining wall ideas into reality for you as it is a challenging job. Cast concrete is the best option for pond retaining wall ideas because it is waterproof and will not leak. A retaining wall made of poured concrete also goes well with a modern, minimalist home thanks to clean lines and ultra-smooth surfaces.

Interlocking concrete blocks

Interlocking concrete blocks are some of the easiest materials to work with for any project. When it comes to the promise of a home improvement job that you can do yourself, retaining wall ideas like this are great if you want and can do the job yourself. They are easy to install, lightweight, and fit together without the use of mortar. They come in a variety of colors so you can customize the style to suit your space and they require a ballast foot. Another benefit of not having to use mortar is that it can create a temporary structure until you block the ideas for retaining walls that you really like and that they can be moved around without being completely destroyed.

Retaining wall ideas

elegant retaining wall ideas

From idyllic and pastoral to elegant and sophisticated, here are the best types of retaining wall styles to consider for your home.

Dry stone wall

Dry stone walls look novel and traditional and are perfect for an English garden or a country style garden. They’re quirky and spirited, and they don’t require grout either. They are a nice addition to a garden full of flowers and greenery as they wonderfully evoke the spirit of the landscape. And since a drywall retaining wall gives your outdoor garden a timeless appeal, it is often our customers’ most sought-after idea to adopt retaining walls. Dry stone walls also give you plenty of crevices to place plants in to maximize your green space in your yard.


If you already have a retaining wall and want to do something to lighten it up, adding ivy and climbers to the equation is the way to go. Climbing plants are a wonderful way to add green and hide a retaining wall that has seen better days, or you might think of them as a thorn in your side without spending a small fortune. Choose a climber who will bloom for a long time and stay green. Think about the health of your wall and attach a trellis to it so your climbers can hold onto it instead of their roots seeping through your retaining wall. However, climbers are the ultimate add-on to inexpensive retaining wall ideas that feel rural.

Railway sleepers

Railway sleepers retaining wall ideas

Railroad ties are perfect if you are looking for low retaining wall or wooden retaining wall ideas. Railway sleepers are heavy and last a long time. And they look stunning in any situation. They’re perfect for a small outdoor area or garden and are relatively inexpensive when compared to more labor-intensive options. And thanks to their fairly simple construction, railroad ties are great, inexpensive ideas for retaining walls. To get the right look, simply dig a sufficiently deep trench, lower the sleepers (or beams) vertically next to each other and fill the rooms with a dry concrete mix. Then push the railroad ties in until the new wall feels secured.

Stacked retaining walls

If you need to cover a lot of ground in a small space or if you like the look of the lower retaining walls better, stacked retaining walls are a smart alternative to displaying blocking styles. They not only give your garden the necessary depth, but also offer you a variety of garden design options. With stacked retaining walls, each level can have a different planting scheme or influence or design direction. When it comes to ideas for retaining walls, this always conveys an elegant and clean appearance.

Retaining fences made of wood

Wide fence panels make up a large part of retaining wall ideas and are incredibly popular too. They look great when opposed to the lushness of a garden and can be customized to match the design of any garden. They are by far the most flexible of all retaining wall options as you can dye and paint your fence panels any color that is suitable for your home. And you can make it look all the more interesting and unique by painting a contrasting graphic design or mural that isn’t overly themed.

Curved retaining wall

curved stairs and steps retaining wall ideas

A curved retaining wall is a great way to add style to your garden. A curve offers something different from your usual retaining walls, adding dimension and depth to your outdoor space while looking all the more interesting. Whether you are interested in ideas for concrete retaining walls or ideas for wooden retaining walls, take a curve in it and you will surely not regret it.

A rocky retaining wall

If you have a small slope in your yard but it’s not too steep, a simple stone retaining wall might be the best solution for your yard. This idea can seamlessly become part of your garden when surrounded by foliage and flowers and blends in with the rest of the space. Not only is it simple and effective, but it is also inexpensive. So it’s great if you’re interested in cheap retaining wall ideas. It will also add extra visual interest and help better distinguish the zones in your outdoor space.

Stone art

Stone retaining wall ideas

Have fun with your retaining wall and turn it into a work of art – with different sizes, shapes and colors of stone side by side. With a little ingenuity and careful planning, you can easily create a retaining wall that looks like no other. Our renovation experts also advocate this mindset for front yard retaining wall and driveway retaining wall ideas as it will completely add to the appeal of your roadside home without having to try too hard or be drastic.


Make your retaining wall dual purpose by creating an adorable walkway with it. A wide retaining wall creates a stable and safe path that leads into your garden from the bottom up. Here you can mix and match materials to create the most decorative outdoor space. But stones of different sizes and shades make it look all the more interesting

Retaining wall with steps

Ideas for stair retaining walls

A retaining wall with steps is the ideal way to create a path from the sidewalk or driveway to your front door. Putting steps inside the retaining wall is one space that defines this as it maintains flow and allows your style to walk continuously.

Images via Pinterest