Choosing window coverings shouldn't be hard, but if you're looking for a change, then you will need to spend some time researching your options. Two common options are shades and blinds; both offer coverage of just the glass in the window and not the surrounding wall, and they don't stick out that far from the window. Many people seeking a fast solution might just get basic blinds and be done with it. But there are times when shades would be much better.
You Prefer Fabric over Vinyl, Plastic, and Wood
Possibly the biggest difference between shades and blinds is that shades are made of fabric. You can get paper shades, but those are typically meant for temporary and not permanent use. Blinds are usually made of wood, vinyl, plastic, or a similar hard material. Fabric shades are often washable, which makes them easier to clean than trying to dust off blinds that keep moving and take forever to clean.
You Want to Cover Those Gaps
Blinds have gaps. Even when closed tightly, there are gaps between the slats that people can peer through if they look up or down (depending on how the slats were tilted when closed). If you'd rather have something solid that doesn't have those gaps, but you want the trim look of blinds rather than the flowy look of curtains, shades are the perfect middle ground. The fabric does not have gaps in the middle but does not have extra material that sits outside the window frame that needs to be tied back.
You Want Something Patterned
Despite the increase in the availability of different colors for blinds, sometimes you just really want a pattern. You don't want actual curtains, but you want something floral or geometric, and not just plain beige. Beige has its place and is an important color in terms of home decor, but there are times when swirls and stars in different colors are preferred to the neutral expanse of most blinds. Shades are a good compromise because they aren't drapes that require a separate rod, but they are made of fabric and come in many, many different patterns.
If you want window shades, you're going to find so many options that your head might spin a bit. Choose a local window shades seller and browse their catalog, and then move on to another. When you have a few patterns that you like bookmarked, then you can start looking at prices and sizes. Shades can be a really nice addition to your home.