Landscaping Feature Walls - Ideas To Spruce Up Your Vertical Surfaces

flexible design of landscaping project SOURCE: Recent Milestone Project

Landscaping feature walls are decorative vertical faces in a garden space. They can be part of the property line walls or freestanding structures that can serve many different purposes. 

When designing a garden, we always pay attention to paving and planting on the flat surface. However, walls are usually overlooked as just being there; we don’t consider them as key features of a garden. 

Most garden designs offer planting along the periphery as the conventional design option. This strategy is so overused in gardens today, that it has become mundane and lost its charm. 

Therefore, at Milestone we began exploring  different ways to enhance the vertical surfaces that are a part of every garden, but seldom utilized. We also looked at these walls as an integral part of the design and not something you think about as an add-on. 

Landscaping feature walls can really change the appearance of a garden. A well-designed landscaping feature wall can transform a mundane vertical face into a work of art.  

Keep reading to look at some of our initial designs for landscaping feature walls and how you can use  these  to add that ‘wow’ factor to your garden space.

How Can Landscaping Feature Walls Serve Your Garden Space?

Adding beauty to your garden is just one reason to consider incorporating landscaping feature walls into your garden design. 

At Milestone, we know how versatile these feature walls can be. Hence, we use them for a variety of functions within the garden. We have  outlined these below.

flexible design of landscaping project SOURCE: Recent Milestone Project

Privacy Screens

Feature walls are not just decorative elements in the garden, but can also serve the dual purpose of providing privacy. They can create ‘outdoor rooms’ within a garden space by subtly creating different functional zones. For example, you may  use a landscaping feature wall to separate a seating area from the rest of the garden.  

These screens may be solid or partly open to allow a visual connection between the different zones.

MBR city and landscaping project designs SOURCE: Recent Milestone Project

In the image above, a marble feature wall makes a modern backdrop for a pair of pool-side sun loungers. The clean, geometric lines of the wall are enhanced by the circular cut-out that allows views through to the plants beyond. 

Hence, people by the pool enjoy the privacy of the wall, but also feel like a part of the landscape because of the visual connection to the surrounding plants.

Creative Flair

Vertical walls are like a blank canvas; they offer endless possibilities for showcasing creative flair. You could experiment with colors, materials and lighting to create a masterpiece that becomes the focal point of your garden. 

For example, a landscaping feature wall  could provide a striking backdrop to a water feature, statuary or seating area.

outdoor space of MBR City and Landscaping Project SOURCE: Recent Milestone Project

In the image above, the open, etched end pieces of the feature wall create interesting shadows on the property line wall behind. Thus, they turn a simple, bland boundary wall into a dynamic work of art as the shadow patterns change during the day.

Bridging The Gap Between Indoor And Outdoor Space

A well-designed feature wall can be used to unify the design of interior and exterior spaces. Oftentimes, open-plan houses have through-views that extend from the entrance to the garden beyond. 

In this case, the colors, materials and patterns of the wall that frames the view can reflect those of interior features, thereby creating a holistic design. In such instances, you can forge a strong visual connection by using complementary materials and colors.

amazing indoor outdoor space SOURCE: Recent Milestone Project

Enhancing Views

Plants and softscape create a lovely garden environment, but what additional elements can we use to enhance views from the inside to the outside? 

Landscaping feature walls offer interesting viewpoints. It is important to consider the location of windows and sight lines from the inside to the outside when locating your feature walls. 

Vertical feature walls can change the vibe of entryways, narrow side yards and seating areas. A softly-lit wall at the entrance to the house can create a welcoming vibe for visitors and family.  

Narrow side yards, which are often a challenge to design, can be livened up by adding a repeated wall feature along the length of the wall. This could be as simple as a niche in the wall for a garden ornament or as complex as a water wall feature. 

The main idea is to turn a utilitarian space such as a side yard into an integral part of the garden design. This way, every part of the garden is well thought out in a cohesive design.

glowing and warm entrance SOURCE: Recent Milestone Project

MBR City and Landscaping Project SOURCE: Recent Milestone Project

What To Consider When Designing Your Landscaping Feature Wall?

When designing a vertical feature wall, there are a few things you should consider.

Scale

The purpose of a landscaping feature wall is to enhance the structure and aesthetic appeal of a garden. Therefore, it needs to complement the size and style of the rest of the garden. 

An oversized wall in a compact garden space will overpower and dwarf the already small garden. 

Similarly, a small,  skinny landscaping feature wall in a grand garden space will be lost amongst the other features and will appear completely out of scale. 

Getting the scale wrong can ruin the balance of the entire garden and detract from its appeal. The scale of your feature wall must relate to the other elements in your garden.

MBR City and Landscaping Project SOURCE: Recent Milestone Project

Materials And Color

Material and color choice are obviously important factors in the design of your landscaping feature walls. 

You want to choose a material that is durable, long-lasting and weathers well in Dubai’s climate. It should also be easy to maintain and should reflect the overall design aesthetic of the house and the surrounding landscaping elements. 

Wood and stone are two of the most popular choices for garden walls. Stone has a solid, earthy feel that complements more traditional homes. However, clean-cut stone clad walls can also be a modern accessory in more contemporary homes.

Wood is one of my personal favourites as it is so versatile and can be easily maintained with a yearly coat of polish. It is warm and we can use it with a variety of other materials for a modern, contemporary or traditional look. 

We have also used porcelain, marble, travertine and granite for feature wall designs in some of our gardens. For a more modern look, large slabs can be cut into different shapes and sizes to clad a feature wall, giving it a clean, minimal look.

Colors affect mood and vibe. We generally prefer neutral earthy tones that can be offset by the vibrant colors of the soft planting.

MBR city cozy seating area SOURCE: Recent Milestone Project

Complementary To The Architecture Of The House

A well-designed feature wall should complement the architectural style of the house. 

This can be done through material, color and physical form. You could use the same material to clad both the house as well as the feature wall, so that it serves as an extension of the house. 

This creates a visual connectivity between the architecture and the landscape and will strengthen the overall feel of your space.

Lighting

Lighting is an integral part of the design of landscaping feature walls. In fact we use lighting effects extensively to elevate the look of the wall, especially at night. 

Porcelain and wood allow lighting to be incorporated into the wall design in innovative ways to create depth. Panels can be backlit with LED strip lights  to create magnificent backdrops for other garden features. 

The light fixture can be chosen to create interesting patterns of light and shadow on a feature wall or may be selected to highlight the unique texture of the wall. 

Lighting soft planting together with the wall can also add a sense of drama to a garden at night.

MBR City and Landscaping ProjectSOURCE: Recent Milestone Project

Milestone Design - Specialists In Garden Design

At Milestone, we know how to take an ordinary garden space and transform it into a special private sanctuary. We have the expertise to design your landscaping feature walls to increase the functionality and visual appeal of your garden. 

Please contact a member of our landscape design team to schedule an initial consultation. Your ideal garden is just a phone call away!

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