Thanks for the thoughts on lighting, @RedLantern and @jbarwick. That makes sense and is helpful.
JB, are they square tiles? I like the the look of ~4 inch square tiles on the wall and ~2" square tiles on the floor, particularly in the same color, like light gray. When we were looking at homes, a bunch had some kind of tile paint on them (since the originals were various colors, like peach, yellow, or green). Have you thought of trying htat in the interim?