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IT'S A GOOD THING

Katie Brown just loves Martha Stewart.

But she sometimes frets over the domestic diva's gourmet recipes and fabulous home improvement schemes. So when Brown got her own homemaking show on the Lifetime cable network, she made simplicity her touchstone.

"You always have to ask yourself the question, 'Would anybody ever really do this?' " said Brown, whose show "Next Door with Katie Brown" airs six days a week. "I want the answer to always be yes."

Brown isn't bothered by those who dub her show "Domesticity for Dummies." She thinks the tag is on target and says viewers appreciate her focus on the basics.

Brown, 36, thinks the Generation Xers who watch her show are longing for a comfortable homeyness they may have lacked as children.

"Our generation was really the first generation of divorce," she said. "We're all a little bit homesick, and we like to daydream about having time to get fresh-baked cookies out of the oven."

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