July 16, 2024

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Here’s Why I Prefer a Square Fireplace Insert

Here’s Why I Prefer a Square Fireplace Insert

When it comes to fireplace inserts, I prefer a more traditional (close to a) square shape over a rectangle. Since most of us live in traditional homes and the fireplace surround is symmetrical, I think a square insert is the best look. Here’s an example from my new house.

Did you know that in 2015, I wrote a post called Seven Ways to Decorate around the TV, and it’s one of my top 10 most read posts? 

That’s because it’s a challenge for so many of us.

Case in point. Today I’m talking about fireplace inserts.

The fireplace in my upstairs entertainment room had a oversize TV built into the brick that completely dwarfed the insert below it.

It had to go. It was demolished this past weekend. And because I want a millwork mantle here, it needs to be closer to a square insert.

But since this fireplace wasn’t an extreme rectangle I didn’t really think it had to go until I really saw it when we were planning what the millwork should look like.

Why a square fireplace insert is better

I’ve talked about this before, but here’s a review:

A traditional fireplace insert is more square than rectangular. I’m talking to YOU because most us live in a traditional house. 

Here are some examples:

Architectural Digest

Michael Dines

Simon Upton

Now I realize why this kind of surround has always bothered me (below).

Because technically the insert should have been more square. And, because it wasn’t square, more tile was required along the top of the fireplace (below).

However, one way to treat a situation like this would be to KEEP IT ALL BLACK so it visually looks like a square. This fireplace would have looked a lot better without the brass surround that highlights the fact that it’s too small and modern. 

Martha Stewart Living

What about a linear fireplace?

If you have a linear fireplace, technically you shouldn’t have a traditional mantel. Don’t Install a Linear Fireplace without Reading this First


Amy Bartlam

And, I’ve noticed there are countless linear fireplaces now being installed because they balance the big black television above. I understand this is a big argument for why you should have one but if you want to stay true to the style of your house, please consider carefully.


Especially if your TV is located above it.


In my eDesign department, when you buy a renovation or kitchen package (where you can buy the fireplace add on), I always include inspiration images to help you visualize your fireplace redesign. See all my packages here.

Are you following my renovation on Instagram? You’ll see all the day-t0-day action here.

Related posts:

Don’t Install a Linear Fireplace without Reading this First

7 Best Ways to Decorate around the TV

Is the Natural Brick Fireplace Back?