In Memorial – Design Options for Headstones

Honouring the ones we love is a special thing. Although it’s a sad and difficult time when we lose someone precious, we have the chance to mark their resting place in a way that reflects our respect and adoration. It is a rare occasion that we have to choose a headstone, and so for most of us choosing a design and style is very unfamiliar. This guide can help you to choose the right options for your loved one, and give them the unique, beautiful headstone that they deserve.

Beauty in Simplicity

The most traditional method of marking a resting place is the style that people are most familiar with, the simple headstone. This very modest and versatile design gives you a lot of options in terms of content, material, height and width. A headstone is normally a vertical rectangle, which stands at the head of the grave. There can also be many different styles of headstone too, and designs can vary from a simple rectangular headstone to a more ornate shape.

 Memorial headstones can be designed in a special way

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The modesty and simplicity works perfectly with inscriptions of text and images, and draws attention to the moving words and thoughts that are left to commemorate our loved ones. This option is perhaps the most affordable, but also works the best in a great number of materials, heights, widths, finishes and shapes. There are also specific headstones with special designs for children, cremations and small memorials in a variety of styles, colours and materials.

Remembering with a Kerbed Memorial

A wonderful option for your memorial headstone is the addition of a kerbed memorial. Available in many different styles, sizes and materials, the kerbed memorial is essentially a rectangular cover over the burial ground of the one who has passed away. Many choose a kerb as a way of honouring their loved one with extravagance and beauty.

A kerb is a wonderful way to protect the ground, and gives an unparalleled amount of space to decorate, inscribe messages and leave flowers or pictures. Kerbed memorials can be simply rectangular frames around the edge of the grave or solid pieces that allow for more decoration, statues or ornate designs.

Details and Finishing

There are some truly stunning ways in which you can finish, decorate and treat the material of your chosen headstone once you have decided on the design. When you choose the material, you can get great advice about the best way to treat it to help it last for years to come. You may also wish to ask for details on what is suitable for the place of burial; some finishing methods such as polishing, aren’t suitable for Church of England cemeteries for example.

Polished or matt finishes both have their advantages, and is simply down to which appearance you most prefer. Again, it’s important to get advice from a memorial headstone service to get the best results and to know what will work best with your chosen colour, material and style. If you would prefer the headstone or kerb not to have a smooth surface, a mason can use a bolster and hammer to give a textured finish. This is called a ‘pitched’ finish, which can look equally effective and beautiful when combined with the right style, colour and material.

The last step of finishing is to choose an image or inscription for the headstone or kerb. You have a great choice of fonts, sizes and styles that you can add in traditional engraving, white writing, gold or other appropriate colours.

To Last a Lifetime

One of the main aspects of a headstone that people think most about is the colour and material. The material is not only important for appearance, but also for durability, length of life and quality of weather resistance.

Perhaps the most widely used is granite; this gives great options for different colours such as red and blue, as well as traditional black and grey. It is easily polished and works wonderfully with the finishing method, giving a smooth, flawless appearance.


There are various design options for headstones.

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Portland stone is also a lovely option, but is more prone to quicker ageing than granite. It does however, have a beautiful light grey colour that granite can’t achieve. Marble and limestone memorials are available for a more ornate finish and appearance, and the rare ‘nebrasina’ fawn colour of limestone is a very unique design option to consider for your headstone.


There are so many different options available, so much so that sometimes the choice of design options for your loved one’s headstone may seem overwhelming. It is great to know that there are friendly, family-run companies that have great experience to help you every step of the way. You can get any advice you need, and support to make the right selection Have peace of mind, and know you have the best design options available for you to remember those who are precious to you, your friends, and your family.

Image credits: cliff1066 and stefthomas