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Saddle stools are backless stools designed with a dip in the middle of the seat, providing a curved surface that is comfortable to sit on. The shape of the seat somewhat resembles the shape of a saddle used when riding a horse, which is the source for the name. This type of stool can be made fairly short for use with a desk or piano, or fairly tall and used as a bar stool. Saddle stools can also be made using an actual saddle for the seat, though these are fairly uncommon and can be quite expensive.
While saddle stools can be made from a wide array of materials and at many different dimensions, there are certain features such stools often have in common. Most of these stools are designed with four legs that are usually connected toward the bottom, which provides greater stability and durability for frequent use. Saddle stools are often made from wood, and the seat itself can be a solid piece of wood or may be carved with slots and other features. The shape of the seat is almost always curved downward, providing a more natural and comfortable shape for someone sitting on the seat.
Saddle stools are fairly simple and basic to make, which allows furniture makers to utilize this shape to make many different styles of stools. Short stools are often made for use at a desk, especially older roll-top desks, and they can be used for sitting at pianos or other musical instruments as well. Taller saddle stools are commonly used at bars or in homes with a bar, since they are comfortable and allow people sitting at the bar to more easily interact with someone behind the bar. These stools can also be made with a padded seat, often leather or vinyl, which provides greater comfort while retaining the curved shape.
There are also saddle stools that are even truer to their name than other styles. Some furniture makers provide stools that utilize actual saddles for the seat of the stool, rather than simply a curved seat shaped like a saddle. These stools are often novelty items or used to tie in the seating to the general aesthetic or visual theme of a room or bar. Due to the materials and time needed to make the saddle for these stools, however, they can be much more expensive than simpler stools.
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