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A retaining wall can be so much more than a utilitarian feature that holds back the earth. It can, even on a flat property, become a focal point and also enable the creation of gorgeous and usable spaces. Here are seven landscape design ideas that include a retaining wall in the Hinsdale, IL area.
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A Welcoming Entryway
Your home can start the welcoming process with a retaining wall. Placing a chair-height wall between the walkway and the landscaping will immediately create a sense of belonging to the space - within the “inner walls” so to speak. This design works on both sloped and flat properties.
Placing a retaining wall on the outside of the walkway also helps create a wonderful transitional zone between the home and the landscape. Rather than having a retaining wall between the foundation landscaping and the walkway - which makes the walkway feel more part of the landscape than the home - you create a larger and more welcoming space by moving the wall outward away from the home and enclosing the walkway within it.
Seating is often at a premium on many patios. Instead of cluttering the space with patio furniture when you are hosting a larger group of guests, why not use a chair height seat wall to take up the slack and give everyone a place to sit? A seat wall that surrounds the patio (fully or partially) will help define the space and provide a cozier atmosphere that is somewhat enclosed, but with an unobstructed view.
Fire Pit Seating
Nothing draws people together like fire. A fire pit is one of the most coveted features on any patio, because it gives you a reason to use the space even on cold days when you would otherwise not be interested in hanging out on the patio.
There are two options for using a retaining wall around a fire pit. The first is a seat wall that encircles the fire pit about halfway around, giving a sense of enclosure, and providing plenty of seating for a larger group and allows for placement of several chairs.
The second option is a high-backed seat wall (also encircling the fire pit about halfway around). This is a more comfort-oriented permanent seating feature that blocks the wind and provides a back rest.
Adding a seat wall around a fire pit is a great option both on flat or sloped properties. When you create a fire pit area on a sloped hillside, seating could be built right into the retaining wall to create a cozy fire area that takes full advantage of views.
A pool area should feel like a retreat. Create a cozy space by positioning a retaining wall along one side of the pool, which houses several Roman faucets that jet water into the pool for dramatic effect.
Any retaining wall can become a stunning focal point. You could transform the entire wall into a water feature. Or, just one section of the wall could be dedicated to the soothing sounds of water.
Incorporating a full outdoor fireplace (and even a wood-fired pizza oven) into a retaining wall maximizes space and creates a cozy living room feel.
On a sloped property, a retaining wall offers many opportunities to carve out intimate retreats from the hillside. Add a fountain, comfortable seating or a lounge chair, a small fire feature: the perfect getaway right in your own backyard!
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