See the latest installment of this series, DIY smart home: Why I’m skipping ‘smart’ kitchen appliances.

When my parents, my sister, my 90-pound black lab and I quarantined under the same roof for the majority of the coronavirus pandemic, it became clear our condo’s galley kitchen needed a major facelift to keep up with our new housebound lifestyle. It hasn’t been renovated since being built in the 1980s, and one by one, appliances and fixtures were giving out. During the first week of stay-at-home orders, the pull-out faucet’s lever snapped. Most recently, the microwave stopped reheating leftovers.