This is something I see time after time and something I'm sure most people in the CG world have come across. I'm not going to go through the method of linear workflow as there are hundreds of tutorials out there (of course if you really want to know you can just message me)
So here it is. I wanted to focus mainly on lighting so I kept the modelling limited. It's just a modern living room with some slightly reflective surfaces and a huge light source coming from the right of the room. I tested this same scene in both Mental Ray and Vray and I have to say Vray is definitely the way to go!
and as always ... if I had more time (oh if only) then I would make some slight adjustments which I have illustrated below.