All of the newer designs come with a large banner, called the "hero" image, that shows up on the home page. They also by default have no sidebar widgets enabled.
If you want to remove the banner and allow for widgets, this is all you need to do:
- Hover over Site Content and click on Manage Homepage
- Scroll down to Body
- In the lefthand corner, you'll see a Source button
- Click the Source button and you will see some code appear in the editor. Simply remove all of the code.
- If your widgets are still not showing, you will need to go to Design > Sidebar Widgets > Sidebar > Page Display and make sure you have the widgets turned on for the homepage.