Claudia Binder, Creative Director of RDM Design, explains the importance of self-care and why Croatia tops her travel bucket list
Binder, who is also a holistic health coach, reveals her idea of the perfect weekend as well as tips for unwinding.
Options: Tell us a bit about RDM Design.
Claudia Binder: RDM Design has been designing unique luxury hotel interiors, public spaces, entertainment units, service apartments and private residences since 1995. The team is led by interior designer Nic Proud, who has been working internationally for over 35 years. I am his associate and creative director. Together our team of designers form a reliable, responsive, flexible and creative force, always striving to inspire, accomplish, perform and deliver to the highest standards. Oh, I mustn’t forget Paddy, the office dog whose job it is to connect people and make them smile.
The pandemic has highlighted the need and importance of spaces in which we can find comfort, security and rest. What simple tips can you share to make your own spaces a little more inviting this year?
Personally, I created a reset zone in my home office. This is the space where work is not allowed in any form but where I can focus solely on creating peace and mental calm. I have a nice classic Eames chair with a footstool, a small side table and a reading lamp, and noise canceling headphones to listen to my personal tapes, which are constantly installing positive new neural pathways in my brain, preventing negativity and anxiety from taking over. We all struggle with this, so a “safe zone” is very important to me. Now that the restrictions have eased and I’m back at work with my co-workers, the safe zone stays at home and I look forward to “zoned” in it morning and night. Every home should have a personal care space. It doesn’t matter whether it is big or small or whether you decorate it or not. It’s about the mindset that once you’re here, the only important thing is yourself.
You are also a holistic health coach. Tell us how you recovered from a personal episode of burnout and what people can do to achieve a better balance in life.
I am a practicing transformational life coach and use hypnotherapy and coaching in my work. I am also a certified physiotherapy trainer and holistic health coach in Germany and Switzerland. My five cent answer to your question would be to create a safe zone in your home or office; cut sugar and unhealthy foods from your diet as much as possible – I have an 80/20 rule as I love cakes, chocolates and chips, which I consider sweets; and get out into nature as often as you can as it affects your microbiome and mental health in a positive way. After all, your gut is your second brain. I make sure to listen to my neurolinguistic programming audio every day to influence the way I think. This is my form of meditation. Personally, I also consume a core set of supplements – magnesium glycinate, vitamin D3, K2, C and B complex – and eat up to three Brazil nuts each day for selenium.
What are the things you surround yourself with that immediately lift your spirits?
Dogs, horses, mountains and the pleasure of good, healthy food. It’s also being surrounded by people who want to make the world a better place for everyone.
What are your own favorite sources of inspiration?
The mountains, the horses, and seeing women transform from “just functioning” realizing their full potential and embarking on a path of purpose and joy.
What books do you always re-read and why?
You can heal your life by Louise Hay, because I haven’t had an easy past, and the short story by Richard Bach Jonathan Livingston Seagull, because I often feel like I’m the one flying the highest and fastest against the herd. I also like autobiographies: Freddie Mercury, Nelson Mandela, Catherine the Great and Margaret Thatcher. I wish I had more time to read, so I use an app that makes me read for 10 minutes a day. It’s called Headway.
But what are you reading right now?
A German book on quantum physics.
And what about the music? What are your favorite songs that feel good?
Creedence Clearwater Revival and T.REX when I want to feel young and free. The Story by Brandi Carlile when I’m melancholy. And Blondie when I want to force myself to play sports. I’m also a fan of old Elton John and Sting classics.
What do your travel plans look like now that traveling the world seems easier?
Visit to Croatia. My daughter is an actress and she just finished filming a period drama called Portofino Hotel with Natascha McElhone. The photos she sent from there are just beautiful. It’s also only a five hour drive from our home in Vienna and yet I’ve never been there. So Croatia is for 2022.
Describe your idea of a perfect weekend.
I’m an outdoors girl, so that would involve trekking in the mountains in the spring with family and/or friends, eating simple but good food, and drinking good wine. It’s just about being with people without feeling any pressure.
This article was first published on February 14, 2022 in The Edge Malaysia.