Just painting the ceiling (floor joists, etc.) instead of installing drop ceiling. Maybe just cover up ductwork?
>>basement renovation<< Before and After Man Room Brooklyn Limestone by MrsLimestone, via Flickr
7 Decorating Ideas : How to Make a Low Ceiling Feel Higher - Kylie M Interiors
Thrifty, nifty technique for enclosing shop (or "utility" basement) ceilings
Build or Renew
Great way to finish basement laundry and leave the low ceiling exposed...
Painting Basement Ceiling Joists / Mechanicals - Non-Wakeboarding Discussion
P: Basement Finishing
Basement Renovation Low Ceiling | Gorgeous Basement Finishing
Projects to Try
I like the extra large sills under the small windows, they help keep the room visually balanced. Also a good idea to keep the furniture on the down low in a low ceiling room.
Moulding Detail. Good for a basement it visually raises to height of the ceiling