There are LOTS of quirky and ridiculously unrealistic Home Design shows on TV--aesthetically bizarre (that means either unlivable in product or layout -- or visibly stupid), financially unaffordable and/or impossible to complete (virtually) overnight. One Designer friend said that he would say to a client asking for that kind of result: "IF you are willing to spend about 70K and make all decisions in one meeting and then let me have 30 workmen in your house at the same time, we might be able to get it done that fast.
Hmmm...That's for all the folks on those shows, not real life.
In actuality, perhaps there ARE ways to get a project done fast. For almost any of my clients, I would predict that a design assignment would take about 5 months from inception to completion if decisions are made relatively easily: meetings, budgets, plans, furniture, textile and material selections, estimating, submitting proposals, sending deposits and all the waiting--followed by the delivery and installation of floors, carpets, window coverings, lights and furniture. And maybe repainting or doing other things to the walls fits in as well. Art? Accessories? That's either along with all else or later... a whole other story. From time to time we find furnishings on the spot, but it's most often the exception; waiting is the rule because custom almost always requires "lead time".
Somehow, in LA (and environs) and in New York, I have managed to put together projects in what would be about the same timeframe as a 3-day weekend. That has included wall colors, furniture layout (no construction involved, though), lighting, back splash tiles, and furniture selections including some quirky, custom items. Also: semi-custom ("special order") items, cabinet hardware and framing. It was a lot of fun to run around these cities and make decisions QUICKLY. And it was a wonderful chance to learn new resources and find some of the off-beat places along with well-travelled resources like IKEA and Jennifer Convertibles. But, hey, without these places, it Would take Longer and it Would cost more.
Besides the reliable chain stores, Chicago has practical AND interesting one-of-a-kind resources that are not part of the Mart (though I love my wholesale suppliers, have written of them before, have my favorites and couldn't function without them). When I furnished our first apartment, I didn't have time (or budget) to shop and order and wait. Besides, I was still learning the sources I use all the time now. That apartment was completed FAST. I think we had 2-4 weeks from being hired for a job in Chi to move-in. Some of those pieces of furniture are still in the Golan family!
Now that it's drier outdoors and getting warm, I will spend MUCH more time exploring all kinds of places so that I can start a branch of my company (very possibly Officially) called "Design in a Day (Or Close To It --or-- More or Less)". Will def. post my progress! In the meantime, if anyone wants to be part of my learning curve, send me an e-mail @ email@example.com and perhaps we can work something out! BTW, this kind of Design work is not for the Semi-Pro or Amateur. It's super easy to make very costly mistakes if you are in a hurry.