Top 5 paint shades as chosen by Dulux Design and Colour expert Rebecca Thompson. In at number one: Fire Cracker…

It’s easy to spruce up your home’s interior with a touch of paint this season, but choosing a shade that will work with your space and enhance the look can be tricky. To discover this year's hottest colours, we asked Dulux’s Design and Colour expert Rebecca Thompson to pick her top paint shades and tell us why they work. Here she talks us through this year's freshest colours including Fire Cracker, Paradise Green, Sunflower Symphony and more...

Fire Cracker 4

‘This season it's all about full-bodied hues with lots of character as well as tender, hushed pastels, which complement each other beautifully to create new and exciting combinations,' says Rebecca. 'We predict Fire Cracker 4 to be the most important colour for Summer 2012. This blushing, lively, juicy red provides the optimistic burst of colour needed to lift our spirits. Fire Cracker 4 is a charming shade with lots of personality, which has moved away from the fiery, intense reds we’ve seen in recent years to a toned-down hue with a dusky veil. Dramatic and easy to live with, this colour is truly versatile and perfect for creating broad statement walls or used as a tiny accent to highlight hidden alcoves or the inside of quirky cupboards.’

Paradise Green 2

‘This intense green signifies nature and offers pure escapism,' says Rebecca. 'In 2012 leaf greens are leading the way and this intense shade works equally well as a broad wall statement or for focal areas like bold splashbacks in the kitchen. For something more unique, accentuate a corridor with horizontal stripes of colour, layering natural yet fresh tones of green with earthy browns.'

Sunflower Symphony 1

'This strong mustard yellow is full of nostalgia, whether reconnecting us with our industrial heritage or reminiscing about past exotic travels,' says Rebecca. 'With its hint of curry spices and gold ore, this snappy hue has depth and strength. This makes it perfect for unexpected combinations with warm and cool neutrals and robust, midnight blues. This degraded yellows works beautifully in open storage cabinets to really highlight all your keepsakes.'

Velvet Touch 4

'This pale and airy blue is reminiscent of clear summer skies, really capturing our hope for a brighter future,' says Rebecca. 'Combine this delicate, classic shade with deep, inky blues to set a contemplative mood, perfect for an inspiring home-office environment.'

Moroccan Flame

'This robust orange has real character, encouraging creativity,' says Rebecca. 'Tangerine shades sprung up on the catwalk last year and have been reinvigorating interior accessories ever since. To balance it’s intensity, team with crisp white and neutral woodwork colours and accent with fun, jewel-inspired blues.'

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Emily Peck, Editor

View all posts by Emily Peck, Editor