I saw Worldbuilding.SE go from Beta to Graduated to Site Design. This was after the change to the design independant graduation process. It seemed to me the process really didn't take very long. If I were to take a stab at it, I'd suggest the designers already have something in the works and we'll probably see something by the end of November or the beginning of December as for the initial designs. IIRC, on WB.SE, the designer was very active with the community getting input and feedback. There was a lot of interaction prior to the design going live. It took several weeks for them to get an acceptable design, but I'll say I think they did an awesome job of it.
As a rough guestament from WB.SE, here are some Meta posts and a time line:
If you take a look at the WB.SE site, ensure you put it on a wide monitor (1920px wide at least) and look at the sides of the design layout. There are a lot of little design things which you may not notice at first. They really did a great job on it and I suspect they'll do a great job on ours as well. SE has some fabulous designers. I'm sure with our input, ours well be awesome too.
In the mean time, have no fear about our lackluster design. I'm sure it's in the works. Just remember, the process for our design will take a little while, but I assure you ... it is coming. I'll let Ducati press forward as he suggested. Believe me when I say, I'm just as excited about it (if not more) than you all! Stay tuned!