Vinyl siding is hated by most Architects and by many quality home builders. It's bad rep is deserved for the most part - I'll list just a few reasons:
- limited choice of colors - usually shades of beige
- looks flimsy
- seams are obvious
- all those j-channels around windows and doors look terrible and not authentic
On the other hand vinyl is inexpensive. And nowadays everyone is trying to find a way to construct a house plan less expensively. So in the interest of being fair to vinyl siding I am posting a link to a Fine Homebuilding Article entitled "8 ways to make vinyl siding look it's best" (just click the link). If you use all 8 of the tips I would dare say you can have a vinyl siding done not so ugly!
My favorite tip is on how to eliminate the J-trim. The J-trim I think is one of those things that really makes vinyl stand out as vinyl. If you can eliminate or reduce it's use now you can have a siding installation that looks much more authentic.
By the way I have one more tip that's not listed in the article. Tip number 9 - Don't Use Beige. Next to J-trim, Beige is the biggest thing that makes vinyl look like vinyl. The CertainTeed website has a useful took called ColorView which can help you visualize various color combinations. I did the image below very quickly using that tool. I would suggest keeping the color scheme simple when using vinyl. Keep it all white or do a simple scheme of one body color with a contrasting trim color (such as below).