Any suggestions are welcomed.
Given my current level of expertise with Joomla and CSS, I would attribute this to the template, not the component itself.
Within 60 seconds of discovering and installing this fantastic extension, I was able re-enable the system output for the homepage and point my home page's menu item to the blank component instead (thus allowing the smart search results to display on the homepage)!
Not sure if its component or template related. Template provided by Yootheme.