DEEP RIVER PARTNERS
Since 1999, Deep River Partners has been helping people flourish in homes designed to meet their specific needs and enhance their unique lifestyles—residential design inspired by the way people live.
The firm was founded by Richard Sherer to provide a more holistic approach to custom home design. After years of experience working within a design/build model, he wanted to provide clients with a more comprehensive service offering. By following a traditional architect led delivery method of design/bid/build, clients feel confident knowing Deep River Partners is working in their best interest.
The Deep River Team serves as owner advocates, providing design expertise in all aspects of residential work while guiding clients on an engaging, creative journey and carefully considered project framework—Our Pathway. From Architecture and Interior Design to all areas of residential design, including landscape and site design, pools, accessory structures, mechanical, lighting, structural as well as audio/video, and control systems, every detail is considered. Our Pathway produces creative solutions and thorough and complete construction documentation in a comprehensive manner. The results are less stress, less risk and a more enjoyable design and construction experience.
Deep River Partners was founded to inspire people to flourish—not only our clients but also our employees. We created a company that is Creative, Honest, Artistic, Progressive and Spirited. As such, we work in a learning and academic atmosphere that promotes personal and professional growth.
“Deep River is very professional, and every step of the way was very organized. I felt I was in very good hands from start to finish. They were the A team – comprehensive cradle to grave.”
Founder / CEO
A passion for residential architecture and interiors has guided Richard’s career for over 40 years. This passion has resulted in inspiring homes recognized locally, regionally and nationally for excellence in design.
Expressing creativity through design starts with a deep understanding of the client. Richard’s ability to accurately interpret a client’s dream, assess site possibilities and restrictions thoroughly, and assemble a cohesive team of artisans are the byproducts of his lifelong commitment to excellence in residential architecture and interiors.
A deep commitment to customer service is why Richard founded Deep River Partners. He provides clients with a design experience unlike any other. He encourages every team member to embrace this commitment and every client to feel like a partner along the pathway. This partnership is the legacy he shapes for the firm.
Richard is a visionary. He perceives architecture and interiors holistically—immersing clients in the creation process so they have a fulfilling design experience. He believes when the client and team participate in an invigorating and uplifting experience, the resulting home will beautifully fit its people and its environment.
NICHOLAS BLAVAT, AIA
Partner / Senior Project Architect
A passion for residential design was demonstrated by Nicholas from the moment he began working at Deep River Partners. His fresh approach, commitment to the profession, collaboration with his clients, and dedication to the firm quickly made him an irreplaceable asset and valued firm leader.
Expressing creativity and knowledge through design has been part of Nicholas’ valuable contribution to the collaborative pathway over his 20 plus year career. His advanced skill sets range from sketching, hand rendering and computer modeling, to reviewing detailed construction documents, integrating consultants’ and artisans’ work, and reviewing and negotiating contractor bids. Nicholas is often called on as an expert witness due to his extensive knowledge of the residential architecture profession. His creativity has been instrumental in numerous award-winning projects at a local and national level. Nicholas is published throughout the country for his expertise in design, professional trends, detailing, integrating audio/video systems, and pool design.
A commitment to our clients has made Nicholas a valued team leader who participates in all steps of the residential design pathway. From discovery to vision, design to plan, bid to manage, move-in to years later, clients know he is invested in their home for a lifetime.
An enthusiastic collaborator and mentor, clients and peers appreciate Nicholas’ creative energy, candor, construction knowledge, and ability to utilize his relationships. He leads and supports Deep River Partners and its teams every day and prides himself on satisfying clients by consistently exceeding their expectations.
Extending leadership and mentorship to his profession, Nicholas served as past president and as a current board member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Milwaukee chapter. In these roles, he has coordinated speaker engagements by several international architects and helped shape legislation for architects both at a state and national level. His passion for community goes further by organizing events to help Multiple Sclerosis, which is a dear cause to his family, along with serving on the Homeowners Association Architecture Review board in his Port Washington community.
NATALIE ERICKSON, ASID
A passion for interior design is rooted in Natalie’s belief that one’s environment strongly impacts their well-being.
Collaborative and creative partnerships are important to her. Natalie believes positive team synergy allows architecture, interior design, and furnishings to all work together. She crafts interior architecture with her team to create both aesthetically stunning and functional environments. She thoroughly enjoys the interactions with clients and team members at every stage of the design pathway where her communication style reveals her strong connection to her clients. Her thorough knowledge of furnishings and products is specific in every detail as she relays the vision to the craftspeople involved ensuring her clients achieve the lifestyle they desire.
Dedication and attention to detail are paramount for Natalie. She upholds the same high standards for her service to clients as she does for her professional development. She is a nationally certified (NCIDQ) interior designer and an active participant in the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Recognized as an ASID-WI Emerging Professional, she has also supported the future of the profession as an ASID/IIDA Career Day panelist. Natalie’s award-winning expertise has earned her several national and local accolades including multiple Platinum honors from the ASID-WI Design Excellence Awards.
NATALIE ERICKSON, ASID
NICHOLAS MATHER, AIA
A passion for residential design began for Nicholas before receiving his formal education; working on various remodels at his family’s homes and framing a scale model of a house. He is a licensed architect and AIA member with over 10 years of experience working on a wide variety of inspired residential projects from a historic house renovation in Charleston to modern lake houses.
Expressing creativity through design, his attention to detail helps him achieve his client’s vision. Nicholas draws inspiration from the built environment, nature, family experiences and his client’s personalities. He excels at rendering an idea into a composed experience and is committed to producing accurate and complete architectural documents.
Committed to customer service, Nicholas applies lessons learned from his hospitality and retail experience. He expertly guides clients through the design pathway as he creates spaces with a true sense of home and comfort.
As a skilled craftsman, Nicholas employs hands-on building and remodeling to explore architectural solutions. This understanding achieves aesthetic goals with a realistic, construction-minded perspective. His desire for knowledge allows him to flourish in everything he takes on.
NICHOLAS MATHER, AIA
SARAH GUZEK, ASID
SARAH GUZEK, ASID
A passion for building emerged early on for Wayne. He grew up renovating his parents’ 100-year-old farmhouse alongside his father. Those experiences led to his formal architectural studies, and he has now spent more than 20 years committed to custom residential design.
Expressing creativity through design, Wayne applies his art background and truly sees the beauty in architectural forms. His sense of scale and keen attention to the smallest details create an ease to a project’s unfurling. He believes that well-designed spaces are attainable at nearly any budget, and positively affect those who dwell within. His dedication to service skillfully guides clients through all steps of the Deep River pathway. Wayne is a respected team leader at Deep River as he guides and assures the highest quality project document standards.
Collaboration is key according to Wayne. Whether working on boathouse renovations or new waterfront estates, he enjoys merging his vision with his client’s perspective to express creativity and achieve project success.
A passion for how buildings are put together can be traced to Erik visiting the construction site of his family’s home. As early as elementary school, he wrote about his desire to be an architect.
Creating a positive impact is important to Erik. His thesis at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee School of Architecture and Urban Planning was called The Built Oasis. He focused on how the harmony between architecture and the natural world positively affects the surrounding environment and the health and social behavior of its occupants.
Supporting healthy and gratifying lives is why Erik chose a career in residential architecture. He believes through well-designed homes he can support wellness and lives well-lived. Erik has become a relied on team member that is able to assist in all steps of the Deep River pathway. Erik provides client services with detail and care. His graphic ability underscores his keen sense of communication.
Mentorship drives leadership and Erik hones these skills through participation on the Emerging Professionals Board of AIA Milwaukee. For several years, Erik has mentored future architects at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee helping them gain an understanding and knowledge of the profession.
A passion for excellent design was inspired by the encouragement of Alec’s mother as he spent hours drawing and making models early on in life. Observing renovation projects at his home, Alec became intrigued by how things are built and this understanding translated to the importance of designing functional spaces.
Expressing creativity through design, Alec finds inspiration in Japanese architecture. He looks for ways to deepen the connection between the built environment and the natural world.
Making the world a better place is what drives Alec’s commitment to a career in residential architecture. He believes a well-designed home can make people’s lives happier and healthier.
Inspiration came at a young age for Maxwell. Living in Europe as a boy, the highlights of the old churches, cathedrals and other architectural icons are the memories that show through and have him yearning for more.
Most things creative are what he engages in. As a child, Maxwell often felt restless and eager, but found a sense of calm in drawing, playing with Legos, or modeling to channel this imaginative force.
The pillars of his belief system are that everything in the built world is at its best when it serves a positive purpose, and that every design decision ought to be made with the benefit of the user in mind. Along those lines, designing a zero waste and/or carbon neutral project is something that gets Maxwell motivated.
Draw, refine, repeat as a practice has strengthened his approach to his work, building confidence to continuously expand his abilities. This quality serves him and his clients well as he approaches each project with discipline and commitment.
A natural instinct for design has been ever present in Gracie’s life. It began when her attention was drawn to creating little houses for her childhood dolls over playing with them.
Inspiration is found wherever she may go. Old buildings, and conversely, modern ones, are the places that attract Gracie’s curiosity most. She views longstanding structures as pillars that stand the test of time, while those leaning avant-garde represent where design transforms. For Gracie, uniting principles from both inspirations leads to innovative design that endures.
Finding beauty in the unexpected drives Gracie to look beyond the surface and discover the underlying potential in all she sees. Old or new, appealing or unique, every space offers the opportunity to explore what could be.
Collaboration is extremely important in design. For Gracie, it is expected that designing will pass through areas of uncertainty. Through this, ideas are shared from other team members as a vital part of the design process. While Gracie is focused on interiors, she understands the importance of architecture and interiors together to create a cohesive space.
Finding beauty in the unexpected drives Gracie to look beyond the surface and discover the underlying potential in something. Old or new, appealing or unique, every space offers the opportunity to explore what could be.
She has always been affected by her space. Gracie believes that your surroundings influence wellbeing, and she is passionate to awaken this awareness in others. When a well-designed room causes someone to feel satisfied, Gracie knows that she has done her job.
The repetitive nature of construction and assembly were early observations that fascinated Michael. His interest in architecture was sparked, by playing with blocks and building model airplanes, which progressed to introductory drafting and coursework.
An appreciation for the built environment further developed from engaging with great works by the likes of Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. Understanding and interacting with structures promotes his keen sense of visualization.
His work experience began designing homes in the north shore of Chicago and he continues to capture the finest luxury residential designs with his expertise. Michael’s experiences have developed his ability to navigate complex project requirements with successful results.
Daily contributions involve creating conceptual designs, three-dimensional movies, and development drawings. Michael follows through with competitive bidding analysis and construction oversight.
Strong communication skills and a passion for detail are the foundation Michael builds upon for solid and lasting relationships among colleagues, consultants, and clients. His belief is that through robust collaboration, the team will drive efficiency, user experience, and the quality of deliverables to achieve clients’ goals and exceed their expectations.
A passion for storytelling drives Laurie’s work. She explores the heart of each Deep River project and shares every story in a way that inspires new clients as they embark on their unique design pathway. Through photography coordination and thoughtful writing, she brings each project story to life to share with Deep River clients, inspiring their journey in the creation of the home they desire.
A commitment to results, she is dedicated to the marketing craft. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration and is active in her professional networks. Laurie is known for her energetic, detailed and creative approach to deliver beyond expectation.
Collaboration, communication and customer service are paramount for Laurie. She is client centric and a true team player who works tirelessly behind the scenes to support the Deep River experience.
Igniting the passion for architecture took place during a memorable visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin. This exploration of the famed residence piqued Bradley’s awareness and curiosity about how people choose to design their homes.
Experiencing different vernacular architecture has developed Bradley’s ability to appreciate projects in a variety of styles. A passion for travel, across the country and the world, strengthens his knowledge base to draw from for each design.
An appreciation for each collaboration is held in high regard for Bradley. Because everyone has a personalized vision of their ideal home, he enjoys each unique journey of guiding people toward a long-lasting building that will be enjoyed for the rest of their lives.
Attention to every detail brings forth unique and interesting ideas that Bradley is able to apply to future projects. Maintaining a comprehensive perspective ensures each project fits its owner and the surrounding context.