While it may be tempting to just do a “regular ceiling” and not spend any effort considering other options. However, that could be the difference between the normal return on a finished basement versus a high return. Consider the following options as you design your space.
This is the standard option for most ceilings. This is simply drywall mounted to the ceiling, then painted in some way. Most people will paint it white or may opt for a more textured feel like a stucco ceiling. These are also relatively easy to install recessed lighting without detracting from the other accents of the room.
Suspended or Drop Ceiling
Suspended ceilings are more of what you would find in many office spaces with the typical ceiling tiles. It has a much faster installation process and is much less labor intensive offering a lower cost. Further, if you need to do any electrical or plumbing maintenance you can gain access without tearing apart the entire ceiling. If you use textured ceiling tiles, such as the ones with tiny holes, this will help improve the acoustics of your basement. This is important for both a home theatre as well as gatherings to keep down the feeling of excess noise.
Have you noticed that many commercial buildings are now leaving the support beams exposed, leaving the HVAC system exposed? This is actually a more modern design approach called Urban Industrial. However, as unfinished as this may look, there is actually work that needs to be done so it looks good. Most people who opt for this look will paint the ductwork, beams, and the underside of the floorboard either black or white. This little bit of extra work actually helps it seem more finished, rather than looking like you stopped in the middle of the project.
If you like the rustic feel, like a log cabin, then this may be a great option for you. There are actually a couple of ways of approaching this design style. First, you can put drywall between the beams in the ceiling. That will leave the actual beams exposed, and you could stain them for a little more pleasant feel.
Other people put up the full conventional ceiling and install fake beams on the underside. This approach allows you a little more flexibility if you want the look of thicker beams or a different wood than your standard pine.
If you want a little more sophistication to your ceiling, you may want to consider the tray design style. With this approach, you have a rectangular ceiling at the height, but then it has a couple of layers of paneling borders. This allows you to add additional accent colors to the room. This approach also provides a lot more depth to the room than most other basement ceiling options.
A coffered ceiling is another great option for people in Michigan looking for more elegance. This is a paneled look where the panels are just drywall with some framing. Some people really enjoy squares and rectangles, while others prefer a less common design. Either way, this adds depth and style to an otherwise drabby room.
A perfect application for a coffered ceiling is a home theatre room. One of the challenges to plain drywall ceilings and walls is the echo from the sound. To improve acoustics you need to add some texture to the ceiling and walls to help dampen the sound. The coffered ceilings do exactly that. The only drawback is that it can make the ceiling appear much lower if the basement ceilings are standard height.