If you’re like me, you spend more time in the kitchen during the winter, preparing warming, comforting fare like soups and hearty pastas. But quality time in the kitchen can also reveal its shortcomings, like a sink and faucet that don’t look as great or perform as well as they should.

The good news: Updating your kitchen doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming.  It can be as easy as simply switching out your old sink for a new, more efficient model that fits into your current footprint.

If you are willing and able to do the work yourself, a basic sink and faucet swap-out project should cost from $350 to $700—depending on how much you want to pay for your products. You may need to hire a professional for the plumbing hookup, which should only take about an hour.

   

If you want to take your project to the next level, you could opt for a high-impact look in popular stainless steel. Kohler’s new Vault apron-front sinks can even work with your existing cabinetry and countertop. You simply remove the false drawer front, make a few simple cuts to the cabinet face, and slide the sink into place. This sink’s innovative self-trimming design eliminates the need for precision trim cuts and the chance for unsightly gaps. A project of this type, including a new sink and faucet, would start at around $1,000.

If you want to make significant changes to your kitchen and you’re able to spend a bit more, say around $5,000, you can improve your kitchen’s looks and functionality by leaps and bounds while still avoiding the headaches of a major remodel.

Wisconsin homeowner Janine Armstrong liked her kitchen, but felt it needed an update. “My countertops were showing some age with chipping and surface wear,” she says. “I like my cupboards and I have replaced appliances over time, so my focus was on refreshing and upgrading my working space.”

The working mother of a three-year-old daughter, Armstrong wasn’t up for a big renovation that would take her busy kitchen out of commission. “I wanted to do a project that was achievable within a day or weekend.”

  

When it came to a new sink, Armstrong knew immediately what she wanted. “I fell in love with the Whitehaven farmhouse sink. It was not only the look I liked, but the single-basin idea…to have the volume/space for any cooking pan from filling to cleaning.” When Armstrong learned she could have the apron-front look installed in her existing cabinets, she was sold.

Armstrong still marvels at the quick turn-around for the project. “It was only the matter of a day for the plumber to uninstall the old faucet and ready the plumbing for the new sink and faucet, and the countertop installers to come in and quickly remove the existing pieces and install the gorgeous new countertop.” In addition to selecting a Cambria quartz countertop in Windermere, Armstrong chose the Simplice faucet for its clean lines and great functionality, and added the finishing touch herself: a new coat of warm grey paint for the wall behind the backsplash. She chose Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter.

  

Is she glad she did it? You bet, says Armstrong. Her advice: “For anyone who is looking for an update, don’t overwhelm yourself with thinking you need to start over. Keep the things you like and pick some simple changes that can give you an almost-new kitchen. I love my kitchen, and am looking forward to creating many new memories with my family here.”