Coffered ceilings can drastically change the look of a room. Traditionally these ceiling finishes are created with large amounts of wood trim and plaster work as shown below.
A cheaper and more flexible option is to use drop ceiling coffered panel systems. These panels come in different materials (plastic, tin, etc..), colors, and styles.
You can create many different looks using these systems. Vendors such as Ceilume or Classic Coffers can provide you with many different options. The benefit of using a drop ceiling in a basement area is the ease of modifying the electrical or plumbing systems later down the road.
Coffered ceilings are so classy. They really do change the entire feeling of a room with their bold presence.