The Ni-TiO2 and Ni-CeO2 composite coatings with varying hydrophilic/hydrophobic characteristics were fabricated by the electrodeposition method from a tartrate electrolyte at ambient temperature. To meet the requirements of tight regulation by the European Chemicals Agency classifying H3BO3 as a substance of very high concern, Rochelle salt was utilized as a buffer solution instead. The novelty of this study was to implement a simple one-step galvanostatic electrodeposition from the low-temperature electrolyte based on a greener buffer compared to traditionally used, aiming to obtain new types of soft-matrix Ni, Ni-CeO2, and Ni-TiO2 coatings onto steel or copper substrates. The surface characteristics of electrodeposited nickel composites were evaluated by SEM, EDS, surface contact angle measurements, and XPS. Physiochemical properties of pure Ni, Ni-CeO2, and Ni-TiO2 composites, namely, wear resistance, microhardness, microroughness, and photocatalytic activity, were studied. Potentiodynamic polarization, EIS, and ICP-MS analyses were employed to study the long-term corrosion behavior of coatings in a 0.5 M NaCl solution. Superior photocatalytic degradation of methylene blue, 96.2% after 6 h of illumination, was achieved in the case of Ni-TiO2 composite, while no substantial change in the photocatalytic behavior of the Ni-CeO2 compared to pure Ni was observed. Both composites demonstrated higher hardness and wear resistance than pure Ni. This study investigates the feasibility of utilizing TiO2 as a photocatalytic hydrophilicity promoter in the fabrication of composite coatings for various applications.