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3 Styles and Material Selections for Retaining Walls in Harrisburg and Lancaster, PA, Areas

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Retaining walls sometimes don’t get the same level of attention when it comes to landscape design. They can, however, become focal points and even help tie the landscape together if you choose the right materials. Here are three styles and material selections for retaining walls in Harrisburg and Lancaster, PA, areas.

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Retaining walls sometimes don’t get the same level of attention when it comes to landscape design. They can, however, become focal points and even help tie the landscape together if you choose the right materials. Here are three styles and material selections for retaining walls in Harrisburg and Lancaster, PA, areas.

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Retaining walls have decorative uses as well as a purely utilitarian purpose. A low wall can be used to define a patio and add additional seating. It can guide visitors along a walkway or give presence to a driveway. Or it could divide spaces that would otherwise feel too big. And, since walls can house landscape lighting fixtures, retaining walls can serve to create a clean and uncluttered landscape.  

Sleek Modern Walls

The modern style favors a linear and often angular look. Colors and textures tend to be more subtle, which allows nearby plants to take center stage. This does not, however, mean that the wall necessarily fades into the background. It can be a boldly prominent feature instead of just playing a supporting role. Concrete block wall units have come a long way, and they are now stylish options to traditional brick or stone. Find them in a range of colors and sizes, including long plank-like styles. 

Modern wall units don’t just make for a stylish retaining wall. Use them in outdoor kitchens, where they pair perfectly with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Smooth or slightly pebbled textures can contrast beautifully with rustic flagstone. In a sense, these features can act as chameleons that can work with virtually any style. Finish the look with a fire table and a chic water feature.

Rustic, Natural Walls

Nature is perfect in its imperfection. If you use natural stone, you’ll achieve a wall that is completely unique, since each stone is one-of-a-kind. You can achieve this hand-chiseled, hand-stacked look even if you use concrete veneers; choose those that mimic the look of stacked flagstone. You’ll have more color choices with the concrete veneer option. 

Rustic walls look as though the materials were gathered locally (on the property, even) and they often have a weathered or distressed finish. Of course, you’ll get this look organically with natural stone that will slowly develop a patina of lichen. Even concrete wall units, however, can be made to look weather-worn, for that “been there forever” look. 

Rustic walls often follow the contours of the land, which gives them a softer and more integrated feel than modern linear walls. Many rustic-style concrete wall blocks are relatively small in size, which simplifies the process of creating curves. 

Use the same material on the outdoor kitchen or grill station as well as an outdoor fireplace or fire pit, to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

 

Grand Walls

Estates need something different—not a sleek modern rook or a weathered rustic look. They need a wall of substantial proportions, with stones (or manufactured units) that have enough visual heft to balance the size of the home. A retaining wall fit for an estate has a hand-chiseled look like rustic walls, but the stones are more refined and larger in size, and the wall typically has less of a pronounced texture on its face. 

Materials such as limestone and granite (or concrete wall units with that look) offer a neutral color palette that beautifully balances homes with a brick facade. Larger wall units or stone are also ideal for grand outdoor fireplaces, to complete the look.

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