basalt stone retaining wall

If your yard is sloped or includes a few different levels, then there are a few things that you can do with that outdoor space. If you’re not interested in keeping it so that you have an epic spot to use a sled in the winter or water slide in the summer, then you could put in a stunning split-level pool. Instead, you might want to pop some raised garden beds around your property. Either way, there’s a good chance that you’ll need at least one retaining wall.

A retaining wall is one that’s used to hold back dirt, shape your property, and make your outdoor space look amazing, according to the Oregon State University Extension Service. They can be used around decks or as a part of your garden and can be made of various materials such as wood, cement, or stone. When deciding what kind of retaining wall is best for your yard, you’ll want to consider what size of wall you’ll need and what design will work for that height and length. You’ll also want to keep in mind how water might move through your retaining walls and make sure that you’re filling each properly while also using any professional advice that’s available.

Of course, you’ll also want to choose a retaining wall that looks as good as it works. In that case, be sure to consider these 20 stone options that might look amazing in your yard.

1. Sandstone retaining wall

sandstone retaining wall

If you want to create a retaining wall on your property that you’ll surely adore, then you’ll want to consider using sandstone. Not only can you choose whatever sizes of stones best suit your yard, but you can also choose from the various shades and shapes of sandstone to create something that’s both beautiful and functional.

2. Stone retaining wall with gaps

stone retaining wall and plants

This retaining wall opts for a unique design by leaving gaps between the lower stones. The almost checkerboard effect is eye-catching, while the sturdy structure can be as high or as low as needed. Larger flat stones on top of the wall give it a tidy look and provide a comfy place to sit.

3. Large block stone retaining wall

plants with stone retaining wall

This retaining wall uses relatively sizable blocks of gorgeous rosy brown and grey stone that would be ideal for a wall on the taller or broader side. The fact that some stones are flat on the front and others protrude slightly definitely adds another level of visual interest to this already stunning wall.

4. Grey granite boulder retaining wall

granite stone retaining wall

Create a retaining wall in your yard that has a lovely natural look you’ll love by using grey granite boulders. When securely yet seemingly randomly pieced together, it will resemble a natural formation.

5. Curved stone staircase retaining wall

stone retaining wall and steps

Retaining walls don’t have to be completely straight. They can also be rounded to suit both your yard and personal preference. Beyond that, the walls can be made as a part of a rounded staircase like this example. By using the same curves found with each step, the walls continue the pretty and practical design.

6. Broken rock retaining wall

rock retaining wall

If the idea of a retaining wall that looks natural has piqued your interest, then you might also want to consider a broken rock retaining wall. By using stones with rough (but not dangerous) edges that haven’t been shaped or sanded down, you’ll have a truly unique and fabulous addition to your yard.

7. Retaining wall with different-sized stones

retaining wall with flowers

Find yourself with an attractive and even artistic retaining wall by using stones that are of drastically different sizes and colors. Carefully place each to create a wall that will last for years and a design that you’ll love to look at for just as long.

8. Brick-like two-level stone retaining wall

stone retaining wall and hedge

These grey stones have been shaped with such perfect angles and edges that they look like beautiful bricks. Thanks to their pleasing yet practical clean lines, the stones can be stacked up as high as you’d like or, as in this case, used to create multiple retaining walls on different levels of the yard.

9. Layered thin stone retaining wall

stone retaining wall and grass

You don’t have to use massive stones to end up with a large retaining wall. Instead, you may want to use thin stones. While this might seem like a surprising choice for a sizable wall, you can create a gorgeous barrier that can be as big as you want if you layer thin stones.

10. Patterned stone retaining wall

stone retaining wall and stairs

Create a retaining wall that you’ll never get tired of looking at by opting for one that boasts a stunning pattern made from stone. All you need to do is use stones of various sizes, shapes, and colors before placing them in spots you’ve laid out ahead of time to achieve a creative design.

11. Gabion stone retaining wall

stone retaining wall with wire

Make sure that the stones you use for your retaining wall stay in place by creating a gabion. For this wall, the shape is created with the help of wire while the stones are set safely inside to fill it out. Just keep in mind that it’s not the most comfortable place to take a seat.

12. Coarse basalt stone retaining wall

Basalt can be used in plenty of gorgeous ways, including being a part of the retaining wall in your yard. This example uses coarse stones that haven’t been shaped, meaning they don’t fit perfectly together. Instead, they’ve each been given a little space while cement holds them together and fills in the gaps.

13. Retaining wall with lower sections

stone retaining wall and greenery

Turn your property into a regal space by setting up a retaining wall that gives off the impression of a medieval castle. Along with using grey stones that have been shaped, the wall has been made with sections that are higher and others that are lower, which almost looks like the top of a turret.

14. Retaining wall with plants

stone retaining wall with plants

While many retaining walls may have plants growing both around and on top, this one has plants growing out of it. With green leaves that have made their way through the stones, the gorgeous greenery of this property has become a part of the wall in a delightful way that can be encouraged.

15. Folded stone retaining wall

curved stone retaining wall

If you need a retaining wall that can follow the unique shape of your curvy garden or a loopy section of your yard, you might want to consider a folded design that uses stone. Bending and swirling to create the perfect shape, a folded stone retaining wall can be an endearing feature of your property.

16. White stone retaining wall

stone retaining wall and plants

Choosing the shape, size, and setup of your retaining wall isn’t all you’ll need to keep in mind. You can also select the color of the stones you use for your wall. For this property, a white stone has been used for the wall that has them seemingly haphazardly placed yet in a wonderfully cohesive way.

17. Rough-hewn limestone retaining wall

limestone retaining wall

Limestone is another option for your retaining wall, and by the looks of the one pictured here, it’s a stone that you should consider if you want a wall that’s as eye-catching as the rest of your yard. With rough-hewn limestone creating a fabulous surface, this wall will enhance any outside space.

18. Wide stone slab retaining wall

stone retaining wall and flowers

If you want to create a long retaining wall in your yard, then wide stone slabs might be the best choice. While a single layer of stone may be enough depending on the size of the slabs and your particular needs, you can also use multiple layers of slabs to set up something higher.

19. Bumpy stone retaining wall

stone retaining wall with layers

These wonderfully rough stones are intriguing, thanks to their captivatingly bumpy texture and striking shades of grey and brown. However, the stones, which are of various sizes, look even better when used together to create a retaining wall with a top layer of all grey to cap it off beautifully.

20. Marble-like stone retaining wall

marble stone retaining wall

While marble might be the kind of stone you think about using in your bathroom or kitchen, you might also adore how it looks as a retaining wall. A choice that might admittedly be on the pricier side if you opt for real marble, you could also use a cheaper stone that features a marble-like look.