Retaining walls were originally built for pure practicality, their success as a hardscape feature measured by their effectiveness in smoothing out slopes and preventing soil erosion. However, the endless array of techniques and materials incorporated into modern backyard designs have allowed the functional retaining wall to evolve. It is now a customized hardscape feature that complements the home’s architecture, blends into the surrounding landscape and echoes the aesthetic style chosen for the outdoor living space. Consider how the following retaining wall designs make use of banding, paving accents, short pillars and contrasting textures to achieve a final product that is as beautiful as it is functional.
Using products designed for style and flair
Retaining wall products are now prioritizing their visual enhancements just as much as their strong foundations. Belmuro Wall is a versatile material that can complement virtually any paver choice, adding a sleek modern touch to your outdoor area with its linear multi-length plank look. It’s smooth surface showcases subtle color gradations and comes in a range of warm and cool shades. This can be attributed to Unilock’s ColorFusion technology, which can create surfaces that emulate the appearance of natural granite. As a trusted retaining wall product, Belmuro Wall is guaranteed to last and is highly resistant to fading. Unilock’s Ledgestone coping or natural stone can soften the contemporary impact of these sharp, geometric pavers and add variation to the paver selection.
Related Read: 3 Retaining Wall Designs that will Transform your Landscape
Bringing borders and banding together
A single band of vibrant or finely gradiated stone is an aesthetic touch that can transform a standard structure like a retaining wall into an intriguing hardscape feature. By incorporating the same banding into all your walls, pillars and other vertical elements, you can create a visual flow throughout your hardscape and tie all its elements together. Create further cohesion within your design by matching your banding to the borders that enclose your patio. Borders and banding can bear a very subtle difference in color to the rest of the patio stone, making use of widely different textures instead.
Intriguing texture combinations
Unilock’s Rivercrest Wall mimics the stacked flagstone that has been used to construct retaining walls for centuries. However, as it bears the durability of concrete, a Rivercrest retaining wall is much stronger than its appearance would suggest. Consider pairing its rugged design with sleek, modern accent pavers for an interesting mixture of smooth and irregular pavers. Incorporating the rustic warmth of stacked flagstone into such a cold, contemporary setting also creates a pleasing blend of aesthetic themes. This is also an ode to the versatility of Unilock’s Rivercrest Wall and it’s ability to complement a variety of architectural styles.
Retaining walls that double as casual seating
Your retaining walls can serve as additional seating space when there are too many guests for your outdoor furniture to accommodate. Prepare your outdoor area by covering the retaining walls in comfortable accent pillows, inviting guests to enjoy the evening from these bohemian-like seats. Your coping should be smooth to avoid damaging their clothing. Seat walls often end in short, flat-topped pillars, which make the wall look anchored and ‘complete’, serving as space to place drinks, planters or light fixtures. Many Unilock pavers are imbued with EasyClean Stain Resistance, which allows for the effortless cleanup of drink or food spills, before a stain can develop. The accumulation of rainwater on your seat walls can also result in a stain and your coping should therefore have a routed edge.
The historic charm of Estate Wall
Unilock’s Estate Wall, with all the character of natural ledge rock, can add a luxurious element to your landscape while retaining the affordability of concrete. The unique antiqued finish of this majestic wall mimics the texture and appearance of aged, natural rock and can be paired with shiny chrome components for a striking mixture of aesthetic themes. This rustic stone is also perfectly compatible with plant life, reflecting the softer tones of nature in its organic, weathered textures. Unilock’s Estate Wall offers multiple length units which can be combined to bring virtually any retaining wall or pillar to life. The classic planter placed on this smooth Ledgestone topped pillar showcases its beauty and functionality as an accent to retaining walls.