While there's still plenty of shape and UV work, the main walls and first floor are essentially done. Since the jutting bits over the main rooms are going to be largely defined by how they influence the position of lights over the furniture, I've decided to try out some initial lighting tests.
The first thing I learned was that my carpet fur settings were too ambitious. While quite modest in their resource utility with the default lighting, just adding these two initial lights caused the render engine to attempt to allocate 4.30 PETABYTES of memory. Cutting back the number of fibers (hairs) by an order of two magnitudes moved it back into the workable range, though not visually appealing from most views. XGen would give me better control over how the Mental Ray's lighting (and shading) handles the carpet, but for the moment I have no interest in fiddling with that nightmare.
As for the lighting itself, the color scheme is intended to paint the rooms through light and this warm, dim setting is typical of my imagination for it. Floor/desk lamps will be important here. I want good, dramatic lighting for this room. I want the lighting and the room to feel like a character all its own and by driving the color at a high-level like through the lighting, I hope to set the tone and convey its emotions as a reflection of those of its inhabitants.