Soffit solution in basement

by Nikki
I am in the process of having my basement finished, and we're in the drywall and duct framing phase. Soffits have been built around the exposed duct work and is extended beyond the ducts in some rooms to create a uniform look on the ceiling. In the gym room; however, our contractor has said we can't extend the soffit for a tray ceiling look, and we will be stuck with a stand alone box that only covers the duct. He has explained that the room's use and features (a chin up bar will be hung from the ceiling and wall fans will be installed in one of the walls) will not allow for extended soffits. Are there any creative solutions for making the standalone soffit more than just an ugly box in the ceiling? Open to all suggestions. I already know that box in the ceiling will drive me crazy!
This is the gym with the ugly soffit that will remain.
In this room the soffit has been extended beyond just the duct work for a more uniform look. I like it ok.
This is another ugly soffit in the corner, but it will be extended across that whole wall.
  7 answers
  • Bonnie Bonnie on Nov 17, 2014
    Hi Nikki, that would drive me crazy too! Is it possible to extend the soffit on just that wall? Then it wouldn't look like just an oops type of bump.... if not, how about treating it as a header above a floor to ceiling mirror the width of the soffit? You could contrast paint the soffit, or even stencil paint an inspirational workout slogan or decorative logo on it. Or possibly turn it into a locker-look built in by extending it downward to the floor....
  • Nikki Nikki on Nov 17, 2014
    Hi Bonnie, according to the contractor, we can't extend the soffit because that wall will also house the wall mounted fans we're having installed. I like all of your suggestions though, especially the locker built-in. Thanks!
  • Z Z on Nov 17, 2014
    I'd make it look purposeful by adding a built in shelving unit below it for storing towels and other things you might need in a home gym. You could even add crown at the top of the soffit so it appeared to be part of the built in.
  • Patricia C Patricia C on Nov 18, 2014
    mini fridge below for drinks and fruit and shelves on top for glasses and towels. like Becky said.
  • AvonelleRed AvonelleRed on Nov 18, 2014
    On the one on the right (wider one), I would build it out as a shallow closet, and you can store things like jump ropes or stretching bands, cleaning supplies, etc. On the smaller soffit bump-out, get creative by buying an oval ceiling medallion to fit, then hang a really neat light fixture of the type that would hang down to nearly the floor (think lights in a spiral formation).
  • Tris Smith Tris Smith on Nov 19, 2014
    You could add shelving below and up to the soffit the same length and depth. You you put up a shelf all the way down the same depth as the soffit and use for display. One the smaller one cut and stack some pvc pipe and use for hand weights, bands, ropes and hand towels
  • Sharon McKusick Sharon McKusick on Nov 19, 2014
    Put up shelves below it and paint the whole thing including the soffit and add some Crown Molding to it to look like a piece of furniture.