Couple left red-faced as measuring blunder lands them windows fitted with ‘tiny blinds fit for doll’s house’


A couple were left red-faced after splashing £100 on bespoke blinds for their new home – only to receive tiny ones ‘fit for a dolls’ house’ when they accidentally ordered them in centimetres instead of inches.

Samantha Devine and husband James Purdie had carefully measured each window at their country retreat before buying replacement slats from Hull-based Kingston Blinds Direct’ website.

However, James was baffled to discover almost 100 vertical slats made for their five upstairs blinds were just 32.5 centimetres long when the order arrived late last month [FEB 22].

The puzzled 49-year-old even fitted some of the tiny purchases to their window frames and sent hilarious snaps to Samantha who was staying at their first home in Sheffield, South Yorks.

Samantha quickly realised she’d measured the upstairs windows in inches and James measured the downstairs ones in centimetres – but she ordered the full 138-slat batch using only centimetres resulting in most being far too small.

Hilarious photos show how the couple have had to install the tiny blinds while they re-order them in the correct size – with them barely covering a third of the window.

The new 32.5cm blinds Samantha Devine and James Purdie, both 49, ordered installed in the window of their country retreat in Stonehaugh, Northumberland

The embarrassed community worker insists her husband should have measured in inches, but she swallowed her pride to call the blinds firm and re-order £97 worth of the £128 order.

Kingston Blinds Direct have kindly offered to correct the couple’s blunder for a discounted rate, and they playfully urged customers to double-check measurements to avoid embarrassment.

Samantha, from Stocksbridge, Sheffield, said: “I know 32.5 centimetres is about the length of a ruler, so I feel stupid about that. I don’t know why I didn’t twig it wasn’t right at that point.

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“James rang up telling me ‘I’ve got all these bits’, but we were working so we said we’d look at it that night. I honestly didn’t think it would be our mistake.

“Then I saw the picture and checked the order and realised I’d got the order wrong. I even offered to print the divorce papers off for him. We started joking about it then.

“I did get the order confirmation. I checked it and double-checked it, now I’ve checked it again I can see that it’s completely wrong.

“When they’re cutting the slats, they throw away the part that they don’t need. As it turns out we’ve got slats about the size of the part they’d have thrown away if our order was right.

The new 32.5cm blinds Samantha and James ordered next to the correct size blinds

“I’m not sure why it wasn’t noticed. Nobody can have that many windows that tiny. They were like a dolls’ house. People have suggested maybe they thought it was for a caravan.

“The way I’m phrasing it is it was lost in translation between me and James rather than it being an obvious mistake. I don’t work in centimetres, I work in inches.

“James tells me metric came in the year we were born, but I think if it’s a small item centimetres is fine, but once you get into curtains, blinds and carpets – it’s inches.”

Samantha, who is living alone in Sheffield while James finishes redecorating their country retreat in Stonehaugh, Northumberland, says her three children found her mishap ‘hilarious’ and ‘typical’.

She doesn’t blame Kingston Blinds Direct for the mistake and was happy to pay full price for the correct slats, but the company is happy to reward her for her honesty with a discount.

Director of Kingston Blinds Direct, Colin Smith, said: “It’s a mistake everyone is capable of doing. They just got their measurements mixed up.

“Usually if there’s something that doesn’t seem right, we’ll contact the customer, but with this one it was borderline whether we did or not.

“We’ll do a special price on the next order. She rang up and told us it wasn’t our fault, and if the customer is honest and straight with us we’ll always do what we can to help them.

“People should try and double-check their measurements. It’s much easier for us if people get it right the first time.”

Samantha and husband James had been redecorating their country retreat in Stonehaugh, Northumberland, when they made the blunder

Samantha and husband James had been redecorating their country retreat in Stonehaugh, Northumberland, when they made the blunder

Samantha posted about her numerical blunder on Facebook, including a snap of one of the slats fitted alongside the correctly sized old ones.

Samantha’s post said: “Lost in translation. We are on our second attempt at replacing the slats for the blinds.

“They finally arrived and hubby replaced one and then called me to ask if he was being a bit fussy?

“We determined it’s not my fault 32.5cm slats arrived as I measured in inches and he measured other windows in centimetres on the same order.

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“Soooooo does anybody have lots of tiny windows with arrow slits they would like blinds for? We have 132 of them. Dolls house perhaps?”

The couple are still using the old slats until the new order arrives, and Samantha admits she’s definitely learned her lesson for future orders.

Samantha said: “We’re hoping to find a use for these slats somewhere or maybe pass them on. We’ll make sure we get it right next time.”

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