5 rules for creating an accent wall in your garden

An accent wall or feature wall is an effective way to create interest in your garden, hide unsightly elements or help to divide up your outdoor space.  If you’re considering building an accent wall in your backyard, here are 5 rules you should follow to get it right from the outset.

1. Consider the scale

When designing a feature wall, you’ll want to consider the scale and how it relates to other areas of your property including the architecture and existing garden elements such as a pool or entertaining area. You may consider building an extra thick wall to complement a dominating building or matching the hight of your boundary fence.

2. Explore your material options

Garden Accent Wall 01
Cadence and Co using Wamberal Free Form cladding

Stone and timber are arguably the most popular choices for garden feature walls. We’re obviously biased but believe stone provides plenty of options in this application. It’s worth exploring the materials well to ensure you’re using a product that provides you with the look you desire as well as the durability and quality required for an outdoor life. For example, a stone such as Bolzano Sandstone on the walls will provide you with a clean, sophisticated aesthetic, whereas a Free Form stone like Wamberal offers a much rugged, natural appeal.

3. Connect it to the architecture

Garden Accent Wall 02
Crackenback garden wall by Richard Cole Architecture

A well-designed exterior accent wall will connect to the architecture and/or other build forms in the space, whether that’s through colour, materiality, form or physically joining the two. This helps create visual uniformity and strengthens the overall feel of your space. This can be achieved by extending a wall of the home into the garden or using the same stone to clad both structures.

4. Create depth

Creating depth with your wall adds interest to your outdoor space. This can be achieved by selecting a material that has a texture that catches the light and creates interesting shadows. You may even consider using more than one finish, for example, a wall that comprises of stone and timber or paint.

5. Gain impact with soft landscape

Utilise the soft landscape to increase the impact of your accent wall. If your feature wall also acts as a retaining wall consider draping it with plants. Flank a large wall with feature pots, build a garden into the wall or mass plant a bed of shrubs below to help embed the wall into the garden. The juxtaposition between the soft foliage and the built form will also add interest to your space.

For more ideas on feature walls, visit our Learning Library.

Feature image: Tim Wright Architect using Newport Random Ashlar Stone.