10 Viable Retaining Wall Ideas for the Inland Northwest

retaining wall ideas

Written By Benjamin Eyth

Published on 24 Mar, 2024

Blogs | Retaining Walls

Do you want to create more usable space in your yard? A retaining wall can make this happen! This landscape feature reduces the slope and prevents soil erosion caused by rainwater.

Not only does it serve a practical purpose — but it also enhances the beauty of your space, as demonstrated by various retaining wall ideas like this one, which we proudly built!

Incorporating retaining walls into your landscaping can transform your outdoor areas into attractive, serene spaces ideal for entertainment or relaxation.

Beyond adding visual appeal and functionality, these structures are also essential in many sloped landscapes to control erosion around pathways, patios, driveways and foundations.


This blog will share retaining wall and landscaping ideas to inspire you. We’ll show how these elements combine to turn sloped outdoor areas into functional and visually appealing spaces.


Top 10 retaining wall ideas


The following will give you a better understanding of the best designs and retaining wall ideas for a sloped backyard.

Whether you need one for your back or front yard, we’ve got you covered with these ideas:


1. Retaining wall  using a small format segmental wall system

This idea is perfect for creating a border around any hardscape area. The segmental retaining wall can define the space as well as create additional usable space on sloped properties for entertaining, or relaxing. There are multiple styles to choose from to compliment almost any design style. Just be sure your choice of wall material complements the other hardscape materials used throughout your landscape.


2. Natural stone retaining wall

A natural stone wall will blend seamlessly with the outdoor environment and enrich the natural appeal of your landscape.

With various stone types available featuring different colors and textures, you can construct a wall that’s eye-catching and harmonious with its surroundings, such as a majestic tree or a colorful flower bed.


3. Retaining wall with a raised flower bed

Why not integrate a raised flower bed within a retaining wall? This is one of the most popular retaining wall landscaping ideas because it’s a great way to create a harmonious blend of hardscape and landscape.

Choose plants and materials that complement each other to make this feature pop in your garden. A curved retaining wall with flower beds could be ideal to create a natural and organic vibe!


4. Poolside retaining wall

Retaining walls are also perfect for stabilizing the soil around swimming pools. They prevent soil erosion that could cloud the water while creating an attractive border that enhances your pool’s aesthetics. While you’re at it, add plants and flowers to make a unique poolside feature.


5. Tiered retaining walls

Build retaining walls in tiers to increase usable space and your property’s curb appeal. They are perfect for cutting into a slope or hill with their stair-like pattern that creates various flat ground levels. Plus, they add dimension to the landscape and allow you to make a multilevel garden.


6. Outdoor Kitchen

Do you have an outdoor kitchen? You can incorporate a retaining wall behind the countertops to grow herbs and vegetables as ingredients. It’s a great way to add a fresh, green touch to your outdoor culinary space.


7. Create a water feature

Retaining walls are not just for keeping soil in place. You can use them to make water features and turn your yard into a calming oasis with the soothing sounds of running water.  This is one of the best retaining wall landscaping ideas for adding serene elements to outdoor living spaces.


8. Paver wall with steps

Retaining walls can help manage elevation changes in patios and poolside terraces. Integrate steps within the wall to create seamless transitions between different levels.


9. Large format segmental retaining walls

These are used primarily for commercial projects or any large area where a substantial slope needs to be mitigated. With engineering these walls can be built to substantial heights.


10. Boulder Retaining Wall

Beautiful as well as functional, these walls are an excellent natural option available to the inland northwest region for retaining elevated areas that do not rely on engineered site prep.


Create more value for your investment.

We get it, a retaining wall is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about upgrading the aesthetics of your outdoor living space. However, they are often necessary for the functionality and longevity of your home and landscape. Try to incorporate other desirable attributes into your wall design, highlighting your investment and creating features both you and your guests can enjoy. Some functional enhancement ideas include:


1. Retaining wall with seating

Try incorporating seat walls or overflow seating to increase the usability of a retaining wall beyond controlling erosion. This addition provides extra seating for gatherings!


2. Designating particular areas of terraced landscaping.

Use walls to separate seating areas from planting areas. Or create a separate cozy firepit area separate from the rest of your hardscape.

3. Lighting

Add lighting under the wall caps to illuminate living spaces and walkways as well as showcase your structures at night.


Please leave it to the pros.

Do you have retaining wall ideas for your sloped backyard? Skip the guesswork and let a professional team handle the job.

Outdoor Cedar Structures is your local expert, ready to bring your retaining wall ideas to life.

With our CMHA certification you can trust in our skills and commitment to quality. Why not start with a free design consultation? Call us at (509)329-6054, and let’s make those ideas a reality.

Contact us today toschedule a design consultation