Would it be possible to design the basement to incorporate the posts into the walls, or to put a "jacket" around them to look like columns? I bought a foreclosure that at one point in time, a guy took out a load-bearing wall to open the first floor up (without addressing the structural reason for it being load-bearing). His son later put in an engineered wood structural beam across the first floor to make up for the lack of the load-bearing wall.
Well, the beam was sagging in the middle, so I put in a jack post where the load-bearing wall used to be (it's obvious when you look at the floor). I also added 2 jack posts in the basement to help correct some sagging from the original wood beams there (there are posts in the basement that look to be original as they are cemented into the floor). Since I'm leaving the first floor open, having a jack post in the middle of the floor isn't as aesthetically pleasing as it could be, so I'm going to fab a "jacket for it. It will look like I actually wanted a column there. Additionally, I'll probably end up repeating that column look at each side of the house (will look like 3 columns supporting the center beam (that will be roughly 4" lower than the ceiling for now). Additionally, each opening between rooms can repeat the column look.
Before my divorce, my basement plan was to clad those center posts in wood jackets and use some sort of wood railing between them to create separate sides of for similar, but separate uses. One side was going to be more of a "bar" with a bar, tables and a TV or two. The other side would still be open from the waist up and would be where the pool table/ping pong table would be used. The players could still see the TV and the bar denizens could keep an eye on the action.
Now that you're done with my novella, did it make any sense or help?