Preventing erosion is the primary reason many homeowners add a retaining wall to their landscape. But retaining walls have many uses beyond shifting soil. They can transform a landscape into a functional work of art and add usable and attractive living space. Here’s how a retaining wall can help create the perfect outdoor space for any backyard in Redmond, WA.
Added Usable Space
If your backyard is sloped and has very few spots level enough for a patio, a retaining wall can help. An attractive masonry retaining wall will open up your landscape, carving out spacious outdoor living areas. The spaces below and above the retaining wall can become distinct use areas: for example, you could situate a cooking/dining space on one level, and a seating area with an amazing view on another.
If your backyard is very steep, don’t worry. Terraces could be the solution. Each terrace is supported by a retaining wall and opens up opportunities for gardening and outdoor living. Terraces make every inch of your property usable.
What about if your backyard has barely any slope to it? A full retaining wall won’t be necessary, but think about the ways that a sitting wall can define spaces and offer up a place to sit and admire the landscaping. Retaining walls can create buffer zones between the home’s foundation and the rest of the landscape. A great spot for a wall is along your front walkway.
Beauty and Artistic Expression
A retaining wall adds a vertical dimension to your landscape. Retaining walls give your front entry a more elegant presence. And in the backyard, the retaining wall can serve as the perfect way to express your creativity. Not only can you get different effects with various masonry materials, but you can also add niches, water features, and integrated light fixtures to the wall to make it unique and functional.
The tops of retaining walls often become natural homes for statues, potted plants, holiday ornaments, and seasonal decorations. This transforms your backyard into a constantly evolving visual feast that will never become boring.
Imagine carving out a new outdoor living space on a sloped property. What will you do there? One of the best ways to make use of this new space is to add a fire pit. Integrating seating into the retaining wall itself in a semicircle around a fire pit will create an exceptionally cozy spot for lingering long into the evening with family and friends.
A Clean, Open, Uncluttered Landscape
If your landscape is small, a curved retaining wall can make it seem bigger. You can trick the eye into staying engaged in the space using curves, as opposed to straight lines where the eye hurries along the line to the end (this makes a space feel smaller than it is).
If your landscape feels cluttered, integrating light fixtures into the wall can help. A wall can also offer overflow seating for those bigger parties where everyone is looking for a comfortable place to sit.
A retaining wall helps define the space. A wall that partially encircles a patio could make it feel cozier. A wall that separates a lawn from a plant bed gives prominence to the plant bed and on a practical level, keeps grass clippings out of the garden and mulch off the lawn.