Yeah, loads of things that can help, but indoor renders are notoriously difficult/slow especially when you have few and small sources of light. For my comic style I have 0 bounces, but my realistic renders I needed 2 bounces and took upwards of 5 hours each and still had noise (970, not the best card I know).
This was a problem for me because I was not doing a single shot - I wanted to make backgrounds for a game and so might have 8 different camera angles for one room. My scenes have upwards of 1mil triangles each, sometimes going up to 5mil. You can use 1 light bounce, turn off reflective caustics and refractive cuastics and whack up filter glossy - still noisy.
With regards to my look, personal preference so fair enough - I did try applying a color ramp to cycles but this has limitations. You can’t do it in the material like you do in internal. You have to do it in the compositor.
You can’t have different colors for different objects - one set of ramps for the entire produced image (and splitting things into separate render layers to get round this is not an option in cycles since the stuff missing is going to effect the lighting).
Also since it’s affecting the entire image you have to separate out the specular parts and add that in the compositor too, since I want that unaffected. Also can’t achieve the same specular look in cycles - hard pronounced and colour of my choice.
Since I’m essentially creating bands of colour if you have any noise at all you get horrible out of place pixels around the edges of the bands.
For my particular style cycles posed another problem - you can’t specify (and also see in the editor) lights to only work within a specific radius. Can mess with falloff in the node editor but it becomes guesswork.
Don’t get me wrong though, I love cycles and how easy it is to make more realistic renders. I use it a lot and before I went down a more stylized route I did use cycles for that same hall:
I only adopted this comic like look because working alone I can’t create more than a handful of these within my lifetime.