Buk & Nola. Cutting a round circle is the hardest part. Buy the legs, use 1/2 inch plywood, maybe a double thickness of 4 inch foam, secure with muslin and plenty of staples, and I recommend a slip cover. UPDATE: I found 18" x 1" wood rounds at home depot for 12$.
Dowels have many uses from the utilitarian to the ornate. They can be used where a strong rod is needed like a coat rack, toy or a gate. Dowels can also be used for creating decorative architectural details